The Cleveland Cavaliers pulled off an upset win without their best player, Kyrie Irving, against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night in Chicago, 101-98.
Chicago took an early lead after the first quarter, but Cleveland came back in the second frame to tie the score going into halftime.
Dion Waiters led the Cavs to their best offensive quarter in the third and that enabled Cleveland to take a four-point advantage going into the fourth quarter.
Cleveland had issues closing this game out after blowing a nine-point lead thanks to a 14-6 run by Chicago that made this a one-point contest with under three minutes left to play. With the Bulls down by two, Luol Deng had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but he was unable to convert and that sealed the deal for the Cavs.
The Bulls shot 50 percent from the field and nearly 43 percent from long range, but surprisingly it was their defense that failed them even though Irving was in the trainer's room.
Waiters led the way for the Cavs with 25 points while Shaun Livingston filled in nicely for Irving with 15 points. Luke Walton also had a solid all-around game and made some big plays down the stretch en route to finishing with eight points, five rebounds and five assists.
Carlos Boozer led all scorers with 27 points, but he had a lackluster night on the boards with just five rebounds. Deng finished with 26 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Kirk Heinrich notched a double-double with 11 points and 11 assists.
Player of the Game: Dion Waiters
No Irving, no problem.
Waiters stepped up in a big way tonight to lead the Cavs' offense to an impressive performance against the stingy Bulls defense. Waiters finished with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting, and he added two rebounds, one assist and one steal.
What's Next for Cleveland
The Cavaliers have won three of their last four games and have a great chance to keep their good fortunes going as they play host to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
What's Next for Chicago
This was no doubt a tough loss to swallow for the Bulls, but they'll have a chance to rebound on Thursday night when the struggling Philadelphia 76ers come to town.