NBA Basketball

104
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Cleveland 29 20 29 26 104
Chicago 24 34 29 30 117
117
5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CT23:00 , January 19, 2022
United Center, Chicago, Illinois  Attendance: 20,824

Struggling Bulls look to hold off surging Cavaliers

According to STATS
According to STATS

Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls

  1. Cleveland has won two consecutive games against Chicago -- both by double digits -- including a 115-92 win earlier this season. The Cavs have beaten the Bulls by double digits in three straight games only one time in franchise history (2002).
  2. The Cavaliers have won four straight road games, and five of their last six. The last time Cleveland won five straight road contests was in the 2017-18 season (twice).
  3. Over his last three games, Darius Garland is averaging 27.0 points and 12.7 assists. The only other Cavalier in the last 30 seasons to hit those marks over any three-game span was LeBron James.
  4. Chicago has lost four straight contests, giving up an average of 127.3 points in those games. It is the second most points Chicago has given up in any four-game span over the last 30 seasons (127.8 in 2018-19).
  5. Ayo Dosunmu registered five steals in the Bulls' 119-106 loss to the Grizzlies. The last Bulls rookie to have at least five steals in a game was Jay Williams in 2002 (six steals).
  6. Jarrett Allen has shot 50.0 percent or better in 11 straight games since December 18. The only players with a longer active streak are Robert Williams (22) and Brandon Clarke (16).
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Although more than miscues involving "the little things" have added up for Chicago during a four-game losing skid -- just check the injury report -- it's those facets that the Bulls can control that may be most frustrating.

"For us right now, our margin for error is not great," coach Billy Donovan said. "Turnovers here, offensive rebound, a couple of easy transition points. We have to eliminate those things, the easy baskets. We don't generate a lot of (easy baskets) now because of our size and the way we are."

The Bulls will aim to reverse course Wednesday when they return home to face the surging Cleveland Cavaliers, winners of five straight.

Second-leading scorer Zach LaVine and fellow starter Lonzo Ball, both sidelined with left knee injuries, have missed two straight games for Chicago. However, the team may soon welcome Alex Caruso back to the rotation, Donovan said.

Caruso, a top defensive contributor, hasn't played since Dec. 20, landing in the NBA's health and safety protocol after recuperating from various injuries. Donovan said Monday that Caruso has been cleared, but said "I don't know what that looks like" when asked about his minutes.

DeMar DeRozan paced the Bulls with 24 points in Monday's 119-106 loss at Memphis. Ayo Dosunmu contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds for his second straight double-double, while Coby White had 16 points and matched DeRozan with five assists.

"Like coach always says, as long as we have five guys who play hard, we're going to have a chance to win any game; that's how we feel," White said. "We've got a lot of people out, but a lot of teams have a lot of people out. We're not using it as an excuse. We come into every game thinking we can win."

The Cavaliers are coming off Monday's 114-107 home win against Brooklyn, fueled by a 22-point, 12-assist double-double from Darius Garland.

Garland proved especially effective in the fourth quarter, scoring or assisting on eight of Cleveland's first 10 points of the period while finishing with eight points in the fourth.

"He is just an all-around player for us," teammate Isaac Okoro said. "He literally controls the game for us. He dictates everything. You can see now, he's starting to get those rebounds now. Playmaking. Scoring. He does everything for us."

Five other Cavaliers finished in double figures, including Okoro (15) and former Bull Lauri Markkanen (14).

Even with Nets star Kevin Durant sidelined with a sprained knee, Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff called the game "a signature win for us against a high-level team." Bickerstaff beamed about his team's defense down the stretch. The Cavaliers limited the Nets to 19 fourth-quarter points.

Rajon Rondo missed his fourth straight game with an injured hamstring and has been ruled out against the Bulls.

Cleveland rolled past Chicago 115-92 on its home floor on Dec. 8. Garland led all scorers with 24 points.

The teams will conclude the regular-season series with games March 12 in Chicago and March 26 at Cleveland.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 19, 2022

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