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NBA playoffs: Cavs guard Iman Shumpert steps into starting role in 99-92 loss

By George Thomas Published: May 4, 2015

CLEVELAND:  One take away from the Cleveland Cavs 99-92 loss Monday night loss to the Chicago Bulls:  they may have found someone in Iman Shumpert to fill a void while J.R. Smith serves the second game of his two-game suspension.

He was one of three Cavs – LeBron James (19 points, 15 rebounds), Kyrie Irving (30 points, six assists) in double figures on the night, scoring 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting in 42 minutes.  By necessity, obviously, Shumpert’s minutes rose significantly in the first game in the semi-finals from the 29 minutes per game he averaged in the opening round.

He connected on 4-of-10 three-point shots and was one of the reasons the Cavs were able to come back from double-digit deficits of 16 points in the first half and 15 in the second.

For the most part, he seemed confident in taking the shots presented to him for much of the game, but he didn’t see himself as doing anything more than normal.

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Rose, Gasol punish Cavs in Bulls' 99-92 Game 1 victory

By Jason Lloyd Published: May 4, 2015

CLEVELAND: Bulls guard Derrick Rose scored 25 points, Pau Gasol added 21 points and 10 rebounds and the Chicago Bulls beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 99-92 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Monday night.

The Bulls led by as many as 16 points and never trailed. The Cavs tied the game twice in the third quarter, but the Bulls countered by scoring 15 the game’s next 15 points, leaving the Cavs to play catch-up the entire evening.

The Cavs were within 94-90 in the final minute when Jimmy Butler banked in a jump shot over an outstretched Tristan Thompson, essentially sealing the victory and immediately shifting home-court advantage to the Bulls.

Cavs guard Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 30 points and forward LeBron James had 19 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, but the Cavs lost their first playoff game this postseason after sweeping the Boston Celtics in the first round. They will be without forward Kevin Love (shoulder) for the rest of the postseason and guard J.R. Smith (suspension) for the first two games of this series. Coach David Blatt kept his starters a secret until minutes before tip-off, ultimately deciding on Iman Shumpert to replace Smith and Mike Miller to replace Love.

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NBA Playoffs: Bulls defeat Cavaliers 99-92 in second round opener

By Michael Beaven Published: May 4, 2015

CLEVELAND: The Bulls closed out the fourth quarter in Quicken Loans Arena with significant contributions from a Big Three featuring Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol and Jimmy Butler to defeat the Cavaliers 99-92.

Rose, Gasol and Butler each made big baskets down the stretch as the Cavs attempted to comeback from a double-digit deficit. The Cavaliers cut the deficit to two points (86-84) after a basket by LeBron James, but would get no closer because of the shot-making abilities of Rose, Gasol and Butler.

Whenever the Bulls needed a basket, Rose, Gasol and Butler responded and found a way to score on either jumpers, layups, 3-pointers or free throws.

Rose led Chicago with 25 points, five rebounds and five assists. Gasol chipped in 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Butler totaled 20 points, six assists and five rebounds.

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NBA Playoffs: Bulls lead Cavaliers 81-70 at end of third quarter in second round opener

By Michael Beaven Published: May 4, 2015

CLEVELAND: The Cavaliers drew even with the Bulls twice on the scoreboard in the third quarter, but Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol didn’t seemed faze one bit.

Rose and Gasol were key cogs in a 15-0 run by Chicago in the third quarter.

The Cavaliers tied the score at 51-51 and 53-53 following layups by Timofey Mozgov and Kyrie Irving, respectively.

The Bulls remained composed under coach Tom Thibodeau, and put together a 10-0 run to lead 63-53 and force Cavs coach David Blatt to call a timeout with 7:14 to go in the quarter. Butler and Rose each accounted for five points during the spurt.

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NBA Playoffs: Bulls lead Cavaliers 49-44 at halftime in second round opener

By Michael Beaven Published: May 4, 2015

CLEVELAND: Kyrie Irving and LeBron James got going in the second quarter when the Cavaliers needed them most to draw closer to the Bulls.

The duo combined for 22 points in the second quarter after scoring just seven points in the first quarter.

Irving made 1-of-7 shots from the field to open the game, but he caught fire during the final eight minutes and 40 seconds of the second quarter to help the Cavaliers erase a double-digit deficit and trail the Bulls 49-44 at halftime.

Irving scored 10 consecutive points for the Cavaliers during a spurt that saw the home team cut its deficit from 35-23 to 39-33. Irving made a jumper, a 3-pointer, three free throws and a layup during the run. He made 4-of-5 fields goal in the quarter and 5-of-5 free throws to finish with 17 points at halftime. James had 12 points at halftime.

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NBA Playoffs: Bulls lead Cavaliers 27-15 at end of first quarter in second round opener

By Michael Beaven Published: May 4, 2015

CLEVELAND: The Chicago Bulls opened the game making 8-of-14 from the field including 5-of-6 from 3-point range to build a 21-7 lead midway through the first quarter.

Mike Dunleavy scored 11 of the Bulls first 21 points and Derrick Rose scored six points.  

With Kevin Love out due to injury and J.R. Smith out due to a suspension, Cavaliers coach David Blatt inserted Iman Shumpert and Mike Miller into the starting lineup alongside LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Timofey Mozgov.

The Bulls starting five of Dunleavy, Rose, Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler and Paul Gasol looked solid with consistent passing on offense, energy on defense and rebounding on both ends of the court for coach Tom Thibodeau.

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Game 1 Pregame: Bulls at Cavs

By Jason Lloyd Published: May 4, 2015

Time: 7 p.m.; Place: Quicken Loans Arena

TV: TNT

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LeBron James calls Steph Curry's MVP award 'well-deserved'

By Jason Lloyd Published: May 4, 2015

INDEPENDENCE: LeBron James called Steph Curry’s Most Valuable Player award “well-deserved” while joking he was glad to see another kid from Akron win the award.

Curry, coincidentally, was officially announced as the league MVP while James was praising him.

“If my phone was on, I would’ve definitely congratulated him a lot,” James said, referring to his social media blackout during the postseason. “I think it’s well-deserved. You see the team success, that’s the first thing that pops out. Franchise-record in wins. … He’s the catalyst of that whole ship, and I think he’s had an unbelievable season. I think it’s great that another kid born in Akron, Ohio can win an MVP.”

Both James and Curry were born at Akron General Hospital.

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