Photo: Joshua Gunter/Cleveland.com
Twenty-four minutes in, the Cavaliers were engaged in a dogfight with just a one-point lead at halftime. But, they tightened up their defense, committed zero turnovers the rest of the way, got significant contributions from their bench, and broke out the dance moves as they essentially put the Bulls away early in the fourth quarter.
Bandaged Bulls: Chicago was without backup point Kirk Hinrich and starting power forward Tyrus Thomas. Rookie Taj Gibson, who started the last time these two played as Thomas was returning from injury, got the start once again. Aaron Gray, whose participation was in doubt, got some playing time in the fourth quarter.
KYP: Know your personnel: Early on, both teams were shooting the ball very well, but it was the way the Cavaliers were guarding the Bulls that was aiding the hot start. Taj Gibson, who loves to shoot jump shots, was given the chance to do exactly that. Taj drained four of his five shot attempts as Hickson seemed content with giving him a cushion. The Bulls guards, Derrick Rose and John Salmons, are great at creating off the dribble, and the Cavaliers allowed them to slice into the paint early on. Salmons did more of the scoring, and Rose did more damage dishing. Rose shot just 3-of-10 in the first half, but he did hand out six assists, while Salmons led the Bulls in the first half with 12 points.
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