Wade, Love, James lead surging Cavaliers over Bulls 113-91
CHICAGO (AP) — Dwyane Wade and Kevin Love each scored 24 points, LeBron James had 23 and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Chicago Bulls 113-91 Monday night for their 12th straight win.
Backed by a trio of stars, the Cavaliers matched their longest winning streak since the 2014-15 season.
Wade made 9 of 13 shots in his first game in Chicago since agreeing to a buyout with his hometown team in late September. Love grabbed 13 rebounds and made 8 of 13 from the field. James finished 9 of 15 with seven rebounds and six assists. The Cavaliers shot just under 52 percent.
Kris Dunn led Chicago with 15 points. Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday scored 14 apiece as the Bulls fell to 3-19 with their ninth straight loss.
The matchup between the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions and the team with the NBA’s worst record went as expected.
Third in the league in scoring coming into the game, the Cavaliers grabbed a 61-45 halftime lead.
James scored 15 in the half, driving hard and hitting from the perimeter while Wade chipped in with 12 points.
James’ shot from atop the key in the closing seconds of the first quarter sparked a 13-0 run that broke open a five-point game. Wade scored six points during that stretch, helping Cleveland bump its lead to 40-22.
Love had 10 of his team’s first 13 points in the third as Cleveland increased it to 74-50. And the Cavaliers remained in control the rest of the way.
Cavaliers: Derrick Rose ended his self-imposed separation from the Cavaliers. The point guard, who has been dealing with a sprained left ankle for much of his first season with Cleveland, returned to the Cavs on Monday to resume rehab and treatment. A frustrated Rose had left the team on Nov. 22 to contemplate his future.
Bulls: Coach Fred Hoiberg said the Bulls will decide after Tuesday’s practice if F Nikola Mirotic will travel with the team to Indiana. Even if Mirotic goes, Hoiberg said it “might be a stretch” for him to make his season debut against the Pacers on Wednesday. The Bulls play at Charlotte on Friday and host New York on Saturday. Mirotic has been sidelined since Oct. 17, when he suffered two facial fractures and a concussion in an altercation at practice with F Bobby Portis. … Portis had 10 points and nine rebounds after missing a game because of a bruised right arm.
Cavaliers: Host Sacramento on Wednesday night.
Bulls: Visit Indiana on Wednesday night.