CLEVELAND: A miserable first quarter doomed the Cavaliers in their 115-86 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Friday. The Cavs turned the ball over nine times – Kyrie Irving had four of them – and shot 31 percent in falling behind 32-16 after 12 minutes. They never recovered.
Irving had 15 points, but shot just 6 of 15 and finished with the four turnovers. Alonzo Gee had 12 points and Anderson Varejao had 12 points and five rebounds for the Cavs, who have dropped eight straight to the Bulls.
Despite playing without Derrick Rose, the Bulls’ defense was smothering, holding the Cavs to 36 percent shooting through three quarters. The Cavs’ defense, which has been a focus throughout training camp and early in the season, was abysmal. The Bulls shot 64 percent, scored 48 points in the paint and smashed the Cavs yet again. The Bulls won the three meetings last year by an average of 30.7 points and Friday’s contest wasn’t any closer. The Bulls led by as many as 31 in the fourth quarter.
The Cavs (1-1) begin a monster six-game road trip Saturday night in Milwaukee.