The Cleveland Cavaliers are nearing depths few NBA teams have ever seen. It continued last night in Chicago as the Cavaliers lose to the Chicago Bulls 92-79 at the United Center.
Luol Deng supplied 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Carlos Boozer contributed 20 points and 10 boards for the Bulls, who have won two in a row and five of their last six. Derek Rose added 24 for the home team.
Antawn Jamison knocked down 12-of-22 shots, including 4-of-7 from three-point range, to pour in a game-high 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the reeling Cavaliers, who have lost 16 in a row.
J.J. Hickson scored 13 points and pulled down a career-high 20 caroms for the visitors, who defeated the New York Knicks on December 18 for their lone win in the last 27 contests.
"We felt like we had a chance to win," Jamison said. "If we continue to play this way, things will go our way."
A Boozer dunk extended the Chicago advantage to 63-43 with 7:20 left in the third quarter before the Cavs started to chip away at their deficit.
Jamison hit two triples and scored eight during a 17-4 surge that trimmed the lead to 67-60. A Rose jumper and Deng trifecta gave the Bulls a 72-62 edge after three.
The visitors sliced the lead to 77-75 on a Jamison jumper with 4 1/2 minutes left but the Bulls responded with the next 11 points to stretch the lead back to 13 two minutes later.
"They played us tough," Boozer said. "But we made the right plays at the end of the game."
The hosts jumped out to a 12-2 lead halfway through the first quarter before the Cavs closed the gap to two inside the final minute. Deng's three-pointer with a tenth of a second left gave the Bulls a 22-17 edge.
A Kyle Korver triple stretched the lead to 36-19 with 6:46 to go before the break. Chicago took a 48-38 lead at the intermission, holding the visitors to 12-of-41 shooting (29.3 percent) from the floor in the first 24 minutes.
Rose made 8-of-20 from the floor and committed a game-high five turnovers...Deng was 8-of-15 but knocked down 4-of-5 from beyond the arc as the Bulls made 9-of-19 from long distance...Korver made 3-of-6 from three- point territory and finished with 11 points...Cleveland made just 27-of-84 shots for a miserable 32 percent...Daniel Gibson scored 10 points and handed out five assists in defeat.