CHICAGO: The Cavaliers lost another game Saturday night and lost two more players to injuries. In other news, Groundhog Day is only 10 days away.
The Cavaliers seem to keep reliving the same miserable day over and over and over. A loss, followed by an injury, followed by another loss and then another injury.
Saturday's 92-79 loss to the Chicago Bulls was preceded by Anthony Parker failing to make the trip because of recurring problems in his lower back. Then Ramon Sessions left the game midway through the second quarter and didn't return.
The extent of Sessions' injury won't really be known until he is re-evaluated, which will probably happen today before the team departs for New Jersey. If he is forced to miss any length of time, it means the Cavs will be down to their third point guard in Daniel Gibson.
They don't have a fourth. Manny Harris will play there when Gibson needs a break, but Harris isn't a natural point guard and just lost his starting job at shooting guard to Gibson. He may have just gotten it back.
Antawn Jamison had 31 points and 11 rebounds and J.J. Hickson had 13 points and a career high 20 rebounds, but the Cavs lost their 16th in a row and have now dropped 26 of 27. They're now three losses from tying the franchise record for consecutive losses set 19 years ago.
The Cavaliers entered the game clearly overmatched by the Bulls, who are in first place in the Central Division and have now won five of their last six games. But the Cavs threw an enormous scare into the Bulls and came the closest they have to a victory since beating the New York Knicks in overtime on Dec. 18.
The Bulls missed their first seven shots of the fourth quarter, allowing the Cavs to pull within 77-75 on a basket by Antawn Jamison with 4:37 left.
Derrick Rose, who struggled shooting all night, countered with a huge three-point play on a drive to the basket at the other end to put the Bulls up by five. Jamison missed on a drive on the Cavs' next possession, Kyle Korver nailed a 3-pointer at the other end and the loss was official.
Rose had 24 points and eight assists for the Bulls, but shot just 8 of 20 from the floor. Carlos Boozer returned after missing three games with a sprained ankle and had 20 points and 10 rebounds. The Bulls shot just 42 percent from the floor, but that was good enough on a night the Cavs shot just 32 percent.
The Cavs didn't help themselves with their slow starts in any of the first three quarters.
They had one basket through the game's first six minutes, then missed their first seven shots to start both the second and third quarters. Each time they started to dig their way back, another quarter — and another cold spell — would strike.
They had seven missed shots and a turnover on their first eight possessions of the third quarter. Through their first 13 possessions of the second quarter, they missed seven shots, turned it over three times and the other three possessions ended in free throw opportunities.
Gibson had 10 points and five assists in 40 minutes in his return to the starting lineup. Christian Eyenga had seven points and five rebounds. Joey Graham and Ryan Hollins each had six points for the Cavs.
Luol Deng had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulls and Korver had 11 points off the bench.
The Cavs will try again Monday night at the New Jersey Nets — site of the their last road win more than two months ago. The Cavs beat the Nets 93-91 on Nov. 9, but have since lost 19 in a row away from home.
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