Cleveland, OH, Sporting Alert – LeBron James flirted with a triple-double, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat a depleted Chicago Bulls side 106-95 in the NBA on Thursday night.
James collected 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting to go with nine rebounds and nine assists for Cleveland, which shot 46.2 percent from the floor.
Kyrie Irving finished with 19 points and four assists, and Tristan Thompson grabbed a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds in the win for the hosts at Quicken Loans Arena
Kevin Love had 15 points and 15 rebounds — his 24th double-double of the season, as four of the five Cavaliers starters scored in double figures.
Timofey Mozgov added 11 points and seven rebounds for Cleveland (39-14), which led by as many as 19 points.
The Eastern Conference leaders have now won four straight and nine of the last 11 games overall.
With the win, Tyronn Lue improved to 9-3 since taking over as the head coach of Cleveland in January.
Derrick Rose paced the Bulls with 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting to go with seven boards, with Pau Gasol adding 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists in the defeat.
Bobby Portis ended with 13 points and 10 boards off the bench for Chicago (27-26) which dropped its fifth in a row, seventh in the last eight contests and its 14th in the past 19 games.
CAVALIERS PULL AWAY IN THE THIRD – Download Game Box Score (PDF)
After dominating for much of the first half, Cleveland got going again early in the second — racing off to a 17-6 run inside the opening minutes following the interval, to build a 65-48 lead with 7:52 left in the third quarter.
The Cavs went on to take a 78-64 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
In the midst of that run, J.R. Smith and Taj Gibson had to be separated by the match officials after some pushing and shoving by both players.
They both received a technical foul and the battle continued.
The Chicago Bulls were without leading scorer Jimmy Butler, who remains on the sideline with a left knee strain.
FIRST HALF REPORT – Download Game Box Score (PDF)
Rose scored a first half-high 18 points for the Chicago Bulls in the opening 24 minutes.
The Chicago All-Star point guard went 7-of-12 on shooting from the floor, but the Bulls only had six assists as a team in the entire first half and shot 38 percent.
James and Thompson combined for 22 for Cleveland, which helped to give the Cavaliers a 48-42 lead over the Bulls at Halftime.
Thompson scored 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting while James had 10 points and five assists in the first half.
Love grabbed 11 first half rebounds, including nine on the defensive end, while the Cavalier shot 42 percent in the first half.
Game Information: Download Game Box Score (PDF)
Thursday, February 18, 2016; Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Officials: #13 Monty McCutchen, #45 Brian Forte, #73 Tre Maddox