The Cavaliers have now lost 15 games in a row. That's the bad news. The good news is they Wine and Gold is starting to get a little healthy with Daniel Gibson returning to the starting lineup. 2009 draft pick Christian Eyenga will also start tonight as the Cavaliers face the Chicago Bulls.
The Central Division-leading Bulls evened their mark on the residency with Thursday's 82-77 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, as star point guard Derrick Rose registered a game-high 26 points and nine assists to lead the way. Rose expressed his feelings about the effort afterwards.
"It was just hard," Rose said. "We weren't making shots and we didn't have anything going. It was one of those games, we were just happy to get the win."
Kurt Thomas had nine points and 11 rebounds, while Luol Deng added seven points and 12 caroms for the Bulls, who rebounded from a loss to Charlotte and played their third straight game without power forward Carlos Boozer. Boozer is recovering from a sprained ankle and is probable for Saturday. The team is already without forward Joakim Noah due to thumb surgery.
Chicago will also host Milwaukee, Orlando and Indiana on the homestand and is 19-4 in the Windy City this season. The Bulls are 19-6 in their last 25 games overall.
Meanwhile, the Cavs suffered their 15th straight loss in Friday's 102-88 decision against the Milwaukee Bucks at Quicken Loans Arena.
Antawn Jamison and Ramon Sessions netted 22 points apiece for the Cavaliers, who haven't lost 16 straight games since a franchise-worst 19-game losing streak to close out the 1981-82 campaign.
"I hate losing with a passion," said Cavs guard Daniel Gibson, who was the only other player with 10 or more points for Cleveland. "We have lost a number of games, so for me to sit here and say I'm comfortable or I'm OK or it's going to get better, it's enough of saying that. Now it's time to do it. It's time to do it. You have got to go out there and play the game the right way. No more excuses, you just have to go out there and do it."
The Cavaliers will begin a three-game road trip tonight against the Bulls, Nets and Celtics, and are winless in the last 19 road games. They own an abysmal 3-20 ledger outside the Forest City this season. The team record for consecutive road losses is 21 set back in 2003.
Chicago has won the first two meetings with Cleveland this season, including a 100-91 victory on New Year's Day in the Second City. Rose had 28 points and 11 assists in that one, as the Bulls posted their third straight win in the series. The Cavs have dropped five of seven visits to the United Center.