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Bulls Snap Cavaliers’ Win Streak at 5, End Their Own 4-Game Skid

Neither team was able to pull away, but the Bulls ultimately prevailed to snap a four-game losing streak.

Bulls Cavaliers Score
Photo: ChicagoBulls/Twitter

That was a fun game to watch. The Chicago Bulls and The Cleveland Cavaliers faced off on Wednesday night at the United Center, a bout between two teams that have proven to be contenders in the Eastern Conference when no one expected them to be. Because Cleveland and Chicago are both playing with chips on their shoulders, the game was as close and entertaining as you would think, even with the Bulls having several stars and key role players out due to injuries.

But at the end of the night, the Bulls prevailed 117-104.

The Set Up

The Chicago Bulls came into Wednesday’s matchup desperately needing a win to right the ship. They lost four straight prior to their matchup with the Cavaliers. Cleveland, meanwhile, came into the game red hot. They had won five straight and rocketed up the Eastern Conference standings to fourth place, just 1.5 games behind the Bulls. Alex Caruso returning was the main storyline for the Bulls, as Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball remain sidelined with injuries.

The Summary

First Quarter: 24-29 Cavs Lead

In the first quarter, it was clear the Bulls were missing their big guns offensively. They managed just 24 points and surrendered 29 to the Cavaliers. Lauri Markkanen couldn’t miss for some reason, and Chicago just had no answers for Evan Mobley. Luckily for the Bulls, Coby White continued his hot streak. He had 10 on 3-of-4 shooting in the first quarter alone.

Second Quarter: 58-49 Bulls Lead

As the second quarter got underway, there were times it seemed Cleveland was about to run away with the game. However, DeMar DeRozan showed off an offensive arsenal hitting midrange jumpers and converting on and-ones to keep Chicago in the game.

Then, little by little, the Bulls started to make the game more competitive. Throw in 16 points from DeRozan in the quarter and a significant free throw margin (8-for-10 to 1-for-2), and the Bulls actually took a 58-49 lead into the half.

Third Quarter: 87-78 Bulls Lead

The Cavaliers came out on a mission in the third quarter. They cut into the Bulls’ lead almost immediately, and Chicago ran into some intense foul trouble, leaving the Cavaliers shooting free throws for the rest of the quarter less than halfway into the period.

Alex Caruso really made his presence felt in the third, though. He drained a clutch three and forced a Cavaliers turnover by getting Kevin Love to travel. It helped spark the Bulls to close out the third quarter with an 85-78 lead.

Then, who else but DeRozan made a clutch mid-range jumper as the quarter ended to make it 87-78.

Fourth Quarter: 117-104 Bulls Win

As the fourth quarter started, there was more DeRozan. He sank a jumper right as the quarter kicked off. Kevin Love and the Cavs continued to work to keep it close. Love, Mobley, and company continued to score in the paint, but the Bulls kept churning out quality offensive possessions. Alex Caruso’s defensive presence was felt throughout the game, but his nice block in the fourth certainly stands out.

The game never felt like it was out of reach for either team. Every time the Bulls seemingly started to pull away, the Cavaliers answered. Lauri Markkanen was frustratingly automatic, and Darius Garland had an inefficient but nice double-double with 20 points and 12 assists.

However, as the game came to its end, the Bulls did enough to keep Cleveland at bay. At the end of the contest, the Bulls prevailed 117-104.

What’s On Tap Next?

Next up, the first-place Chicago Bulls take on the defending NBA champion Bucks in Milwaukee. The Bucks are 27-19 on the year, and you can rest assured they will want to manhandle the Bulls to assert their dominance in the Eastern Conference.

That game will tip-off on Friday at 7:00 PM CST. Follow along with Bulls On Tap on the journey and for all your Chicago basketball news and needs.

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Bulls and Cubs Writer for OnTapSportsNet. Author of Extraordinary Girl, available on Amazon and at other select retailers.

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