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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Chicago

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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Chicago
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers brought their 8-22 road record into the United Center Tuesday night to face the Chicago Bulls. Implausibly, the Cavs stunned the Bulls and came away with a 101-98 victory.

Cleveland played without Kyrie Irving due to a hyperextended right knee; he suffered the injury on Sunday against the Miami Heat (per Royce Young of CBS Sports).

Instead, Dion Waiters victimized the Bulls for 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting. The injury-befuddled Shaun Livingston made his first start for Cleveland and poured in 15 points to aid with the victory.

Cleveland began the fourth quarter with a five-point lead thanks to a three-pointer at the buzzer from Wayne Ellington (who had 13 points off the bench) followed by a technical called on Joakim Noah. That was a four-point swing in a game ultimately decided by just three points.

Chicago trailed by as many as nine points in the fourth. They were within two in the final minute but couldn't complete the comeback. Carlos Boozer finished with 27 points and Luol Deng had 26 in a losing effort.

The Bulls needed to wash the horrible taste out of their mouths left by Sunday's 30-point defeat; they got their doors blown off by the Oklahoma City Thunder and shot a minuscule 29.1 percent from the field in the process.

While Chicago shot 50 percent in this game, they just couldn't get the clutch buckets they needed as the entire offense ran through Boozer and Deng.

Chicago came into Tuesday at 32-24, just half a game separating them from the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks for fourth place in the East. For some reason, the Bulls struggle at home (15-13) and actually have a better road record (17-11), a trend which continued in this contest.

Cleveland is scuffling at 18-38. The Cavs have had Anderson Varejao and Kyrie Irving in the same lineup for just five games this season due to injury, and the whole team defends about as well as a scarecrow.

As of Tuesday, Cleveland has allowed the most points per game and the second most points per possession in the East. Fortunately for them, the Bulls offense is currently 25th in the league in points scored per possession (per ESPN).

The Cavaliers defense was just that bit better than the Bulls offense down the stretch, which sealed the victory. So let's get our red marker and give out some grades for this narrow loss.

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