Post-mortem: Cavs 101, Bulls 87
The good: The Cavs bench players delivered significant points once again as they put up 40 against the Bulls. Daniel ''Boobie'' Gibson led the way for the reserves with 15 points. Considering how woeful bench play was a couple of weeks ago, this can only be viewed as a welcome development by Mike Brown and his staff. An educated guess says this is what they had in mind when they went out and made their offseason moves. It's the third consecutive game the bench has produced 40 points or more. In those three games, they are averaging 43 points per game.
The better: A rarity for Mike Brown - he offered effusive praise for second-year player J.J. Hickson and it was difficult not to and that's not based on his nine points on the night. It was based on the way that he played defense in the third quarter - diving for balls and contesting shots. In that period, he was dynamite.
The best: They played a flawless third quarter as they began to take over the game. The Cavs went into the locker room with 11 turnovers and didn't turn the ball over once in the second half. In the third quarter, they held the Bulls to just 25 percent shooting while shooting 54 percent themselves and building a 19-point lead and putting the game out of reach.
Game: Cavs (13-5) vs. Chicago Bulls (7-9)
TV: ESPN Radio: WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Starters: Cavs: LeBron James (F); J.J. Hickson (F); Shaquille O'Neal (C); Anthony Parker (G); Mo Williams (G). Luol Deng (F); Taj Gibson (F); Joakim Noah (C); John Salmons (G); Derrick Rose (G)
Cavs: Leon Powe (knee) - OUT
Bulls: Kirk Hinrich (left thumb sprain); Jerome James (right Achilles); Tyrus Thomas (left radius fracture) - OUT. Aaron Gray (left fibula stress fracture) - PROBABLE.
Officials: Mauer, Wright, Zielinski