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Bulls bury slumping Cavs behind Boozer
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Carlos Boozer poured in a game-high 24 points and ripped down 11 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls easily handled the Cleveland Cavaliers, 118-92, at United Center on Monday.
Luol Deng netted 19 points to go with seven assists, five rebounds and four steals, while Taj Gibson hit 8-of-9 from the floor for 18 points to go along with seven boards for the Bulls, who have won three straight since a loss to Charlotte on Dec. 31.
"We had a tough last couple of weeks of 2012, and it's a new year, we've got a couple of new resolutions, and one is to get a couple of more wins," said Boozer.
Marco Belinelli hit three 3-pointers and finished with 15 points and five assists, while Nate Robinson ended his night with 14 points and seven assists in the rout.
Dion Waiters scored 18 points and grabbed six boards, while Kyrie Irving added 15 points and six assists for the Cavs, who have come out on the wrong side of the score in five of their last six games.
C.J. Miles and Tristan Thompson contributed 15 and 14 points, respectively, in the setback, Cleveland's 11th in a row against Chicago.
"They've just got our number," said Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott. "Hopefully we can close the gap in the next year or so, but right now they feel really confident and comfortable playing against us."
Cleveland hit on three of its first five shots from the floor to jump out to a quick 7-0 lead, but the Bulls responded with five straight to make it 7-5 with 8:18 on the first-quarter clock.
Boozer hit a hook shot to bring Chicago within 13-9, but the Cavs kept their composure and their lead as a dunk by Kevin Jones followed by a technical free throw from Miles put the visitors ahead 22-13 with 3:16 left in the session.
Robinson converted a three-point play to make it 22-18 Cleveland, but a quick 8-2 burst by the Cavs extended the lead back to 10 and they held a 30-22 advantage after 12 minutes.
Waiters hit a pair from the line to expand the Cleveland lead to 10 early in the second session, but the Bulls came storming back, using an 11-0 surge, capped by a Belinelli trey, to make it 33-32 Chicago with 9:11 to go before halftime.
Neither side led by more then four points for the rest of the quarter and Belinelli got the last laugh in the stanza, hitting a reverse layup to give the Bulls a 53-50 lead at the break.
Cleveland stayed within striking distance for most of the third quarter, but the Bulls pulled away in the latter stages. Holding a 65-60 lead, Chicago ripped off a 10-4 run to widen the margin to 75-64.
Waiters cut the deficit to 79-70 with 3:49 left in the quarter, but Chicago ended the stanza on a 9-2 flurry to take a comfortable 88-72 advantage into the final period.
Chicago cruised through the final quarter as the lead swelled to as many as 30 down the stretch.
Cavaliers forward Luke Walton missed the game due to personal reasons ... The Bulls outscored Cleveland, 54-36 in the paint ... Chicago shot 53.7 percent from the floor and 10-of-14 from 3-point range ...Chicago also dominated on the glass, outrebounding the Cavs, 47-31 ... Joakim Noah contributed 11 points and 11 rebounds for Chicago.
01/08 02:16:38 ET