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Cavs playoffs: Thompson's physicality contributes to Cleveland Cavaliers blowout over Chicago

By George Thomas Published: May 6, 2015

CLEVELAND:   The offense for the Cleveland Cavaliers came from elsewhere against the Chicago Bulls in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals at Quicken Loans Arena.

That allowed Tristan Thompson do what Tristan Thompson does – rebound.  Defensive rebounds [six on the night].  Offensive rebounds [six on the night].  Twelve rebounds total.  That’s what he does and he’s happy for  it.  The Cavs will take the 106-91 win.

“My role here is to play hard, set screens, get guys open, try to get extra possessions and just play hard each possession and that’s what I did tonight,” Thompson said.

Despite getting a quick two fouls in the first quarter, Thompson rebounded to give the Cavs much-needed production in a game that was never really close.  From the second quarter on Thompson claimed 10 of his boards and they were needed as even when the Cavs got ahead by as many as 25 points, the Bulls persisted eventually trimming the lead to 11 at the 6:03 mark before running away with it in the fourth quarter.

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NBA Playoffs: Cavaliers defeat Bulls 106-91 to even second round series at 1-1

By Michael Beaven Published: May 6, 2015

CLEVELAND: The Cavaliers protected home court, and evened the best-of-7 second round series by defeating the Chicago Bulls xxx-xx Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena.

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving finished the game strong as the Cavs bounced back from Monday’s loss. The Bulls never trailed Monday, and the Cavs never trailed Wednesday.

The fourth quarter did not feature a notable run by either team, but Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova connected on an alley-oop dunk with 4:23 to go in the quarter. Dellavedova lobbed the ball towards the basket and Thompson finished the play with a powerful two-hand jam.

James finished the evening with 33 points, eight rebounds and five assists. He made 13-of-29 field goals and 7-of-9 shots from the free throw line.

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LeBron James resurrects headband, scores 33 points as Cavs beat Bulls 106-91 to even series

By Jason Lloyd Published: May 6, 2015

CLEVELAND: LeBron James went back to his headband. He reverted back to his MVP form, too.

A more aggressive James had 33 points, eight rebounds and five assists, the Cavs set a franchise record by opening a 20-point lead after the first quarter and beat the Chicago Bulls 106-91 Wednesday night to knot their Eastern Conference semifinal series at 1-1.

Bulls forward Pau Gasol was limited to 11 points and didn’t score his first basket until the final two minutes of the first half after he tormented the Cavs with 21 points and 10 rebounds in Game 1. Derrick Rose had 14 points and 10 assists but shot just 6 of 20 and Jimmy Butler scored 18 points on 5 of 14 shooting. The Bulls, however, still return home for Game 3 Friday night holding home-court advantage.

James promised to be sharper in Game 2 than he was in the opener and he certainly delivered. The headband was a mild surprise after he seemed to ditch it for good in early March. He arrived at the arena three hours prior to tip Wednesday night, then matched his number of baskets from Game 1 (nine) by halftime.

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NBA Playoffs: Cavaliers lead Bulls 87-71 at end of third quarter of Game 2

By Michael Beaven Published: May 6, 2015

CLEVELAND: The Bulls trimmed into their deficit on the strength of a 14-0 run that cut a 25-point deficit to 11 with 6:02 to go in the third quarter.

Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose got hot making shots for the Bulls, but the Cavaliers responded with a pair of 3-point shots by James Jones, three driving layups by LeBron James and a few other field goals to maintain a double-digit lead.

Iman Shumpert of the Cavs walked off the court and to the locker room during the Bulls spurt with 9:17 to go in the quarter. Cavs media officials announced Shumpert has a left groin strain and that his return to the game is possible.

Play got a little more chippy on the court as the quarter progressed. Pau Gasol got tangled up with LeBron James and Tristan Thompson on consecutive possessions, and referees whistled Gasol for a foul on each play.

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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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