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James with 26 as Cleveland Cavaliers fall to Chicago Bulls, 96-83

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CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Cavaliers couldn’t keep up on Saturday, falling to the Chicago Bulls, 96-83.

The Cavaliers weren’t able to close in on the Bulls in the first half, trailing both at the end of the first quarter and at halftime.

The Cavs struggled more in the third and the gap grew to as much as 17 points.

The fourth quarter wasn’t much better, although the Cavs closed the gap slightly. Missed free throws from the Cavs throughout the game kept the Bulls ahead.

LeBron James had 26 points in the loss,  J.R. Smith had 18 and Kevin Love had 14.

Saturday’s game was the first for the Cavaliers with head coach Tyronn Lue following the firing of David Blatt on Friday.

Before the game, Lue said he thinks it would be “sweet” if the NBA would allow Blatt to coach in the All-Star Game, as he was set to do before his firing.

Lue said he’s open to coaching in the game and feels Cleveland’s staff “deserves it.” LeBron James was voted into his 12th All-Star Game earlier this week. It’s possible Cleveland’s Kevin Love will be added as a reserve.

More Cleveland Cavaliers stories here.