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NBA Playoffs: Cavaliers lead Bulls 64-45 at halftime of Game 2

By Michael Beaven Published: May 6, 2015

CLEVELAND: The Cavaliers cooled off a tad in the second quarter, but still played solid enough to lead 64-45 at halftime.

Trying to follow up 38 points in the first quarter is hard, but the Cavs continued to play solid offensively and defensively. Timofey Mozgov missed a dunk early in the quarter, but the Cavs secured an offensive rebound and seconds later Matthew Dellavedova buried a 3-pointer. Dellavedova and Shumpert each swished key 3-pointers in the quarter.

The quarter also included a big dunk by LeBron James and several notable athletes with ties to Cleveland and Ohio on the jumbotron scoreboard that fired up the crowd at Quicken Loans Arena.

During a timeout with 5:13 to go in the quarter, the Cavs camera crew showed Kevin Love on the jumbotron scoreboard and Cleveland fans erupted and gave the injured forward a standing ovation. Love, out for the rest of the playoffs due to a dislocated left shoulder, torn ligaments and a torn labrum that required surgery, stood up from his seat behind the bench and waved to the crowd.

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NBA Playoffs: Cavaliers lead Bulls 38-18 at end of first quarter in Game 2

By Michael Beaven Published: May 6, 2015

CLEVELAND: The Cavaliers came out inspired and jumped out to a 24-6 lead with 4:25 to go in the first quarter of Game 2 with scoring coming from three guys: Timofey Mozgov, Iman Shumpert and LeBron James.

The Cavs played fast and efficient, which is exactly what the Bulls did in Game 1. On this night, Quicken Loans Arena was rocking as Cleveland fans roared as Shumpert and James both scored 10 points during the run, and Mozgov added four in points.

Shumpert made his first three shots from 3-point range. James came out of the locker room aggressive, driving to the basket for layups and burying jumpers and free throws. The Cavs closed out the quarter with 3-pointer from James Jones and Kyrie Irving and two free throws from Irving.

Cleveland made 13-of-20 shots from the field in the quarter and 7-of-9 free throws. Chicago converted 6-of-18 shots from the field and 5-of-9 free throws. The Cavs also made 5-of-6 from beyond the 3-point arc and the Bulls were just 1-of-3.

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Game 2 Pregame: Bulls at Cavs

By Jason Lloyd Published: May 6, 2015

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

TV: TNT

Radio: WTAM 1100-AM, WAKR 1590-AM, WHBC 1480-AM,  La Mega 87.7-FM (Spanish)

Injury report: Cavs - Anderson Varejao (Achilles) out, Kevin Love (shoulder) out; J.R. Smith (suspension) out; Bulls - None.

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LeBron James expected to be back on perimeter for Game 2 vs. Bulls

By Jason Lloyd Published: May 6, 2015

INDEPENDENCE: LeBron James expects to be sharper tonight against the Chicago Bulls. Perhaps it’s because he expects to be back where he’s most comfortable for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

James played primarily in the post in Game 1, grabbing 15 rebounds in what became a 99-92 loss. But Kyrie Irving seemed to confirm a Cleveland.com report that Tristan Thompson will start at power forward in Game 2, which pushes James back to his more natural small forward position.

“We get our 3-man back,” Irving said. “It was great seeing Bron at the 4, but at times he was getting the ball just like our bigs and he’s giving it right to me.”

The Cavs were at their best this season with both James and Irving pushing the tempo, but James in the post in Game 1 left him acting more like a big than a wing.

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LeBron James hints he'll be more aggressive entering Game 2 against the Bulls

By Jason Lloyd Published: May 5, 2015

INDEPENDENCE: LeBron James acknowledged Tuesday he might have to be more aggressive in Game 2 against the Chicago Bulls. With the Cavs’ Big Three down to only two following the injury to Kevin Love, James thought he was too passive at times during Monday’s 99-92 loss to the Bulls despite finishing with 19 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists.

“I think I may have to change my mindset a little bit obviously with Kev being out,” James said. “It’s something we all haven’t been accustomed to this year with him being out for an extensive period or another of the Big Three being out for a long period of time since I had my injuries. It might be a different mindset for myself and Kyrie (Irving).”

James has always maintained the first game of any series is a “feel out” game, but that may have been taken to an extreme Monday.

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Bulls 99, Cavs 92; Jason Lloyd's 28 final thoughts on defense, lineups and an early deficit

By Jason Lloyd Published: May 5, 2015
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CLEVELAND: Twenty-eight thoughts for 28 defensive rebounds in a disappointing 99-92 loss to the Chicago Bulls in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Monday…

1. I was chatting with a couple of Cavs playoff veterans during the Celtics series about what it feels like to lose a playoff game. Drop a game and it feels like you’re going to lose the series. Fall behind in a series and it feels like the world is ending. 

MORE: Bulls 99, Cavaliers 92: Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol punish Cavs in Bulls’ Game 1 victory

2. That’s the position the Cavs are in today. It probably feels worse than it really is, but losing the first game of a series at home is never a good way to begin. Losing at home the way they did, with lousy defense and an effort from their star that falls short by his lofty standards, hurts even worse.

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