DeRozan, Vucevic lead way as Bulls hold off Cavs
CHICAGO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points, Nikola Vucevic added 24 points and 12 rebounds, and the struggling Chicago Bulls ended the game on a 14-2 run to hold off the surging Cleveland Cavaliers 117-104 on Wednesday night.
The Bulls steadied themselves after losing a season-high four straight and falling into a first-place tie with Miami in the Eastern Conference.
They answered in a big way when Cleveland pulled within 103-102 on a 3-pointer by former Bulls player Lauri Markkanen and free throw by Isaac Okoro.
Ayo Dosunmu nailed a 3-pointer for Chicago with just over 4 minutes remaining to start the decisive rally. Vucevic hit two 3s and a layup during that stretch, helping Chicago stop Cleveland’s season-high, five-game win streak.
Dosunmu scored 18, hitting three of Chicago’s 10 3s. Coby White added 16 points and four steals. The Bulls also scored 24 points off turnovers on the way to a win they sorely needed.
Markkanen led Cleveland with 28 points. The 7-footer from Finland made five 3s in his first game in Chicago and second against the Bulls since a sign-and-trade deal in August.
Darius Garland had 20 points and 12 assists. Evan Mobley added 18 points.
DeRozan had 16 in the second quarter. Chicago ended the half on a 10-0 run to go up 58-49, and the Bulls withstood several pushes the rest of the way.
Cavaliers: G Rajon Rondo (sore right hamstring) worked out with the G League’s Cleveland Charge on Wednesday, and the feedback was positive, coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. The four-time All-Star missed his fifth consecutive game.
Bulls: Zach LaVine (sore left knee) and Lonzo Ball (bruised left knee) missed their third game in a row and will not travel to Milwaukee, Orlando and Oklahoma City, coach Billy Donovan said. LaVine has been shooting free throws and doing strength training, though not running or jumping. Ball changed treatment regimens, and his timeline to return depends on how he responds. … G Alex Caruso had nine points over 22:55 after missing 13 games in a row because of a sprained left foot and then COVID-19. … The Bulls signed F Malcolm Hill to a two-way contract. The Illinois native agreed to a 10-day contract with Chicago last week. … The Bulls held a moment of silence for longtime Chicago sports radio reporter and talk show host Les Grobstein, who long ago recorded Lee Elia’s famous profane postgame rant about Cubs fans. Grobstein, who was 69, died Sunday.
Cavaliers: Host Oklahoma City on Saturday.
Bulls: Visit Milwaukee on Friday.