Chicago At Cleveland
When: 8:30 PM
ET, Saturday, February 25, 2017
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
While the Chicago Bulls have been unable to keep pace with the rival Cleveland Cavaliers over the last few years, they have gotten the better of the head-to-head matchups in the regular season. The Bulls will try to continue their recent dominance of the defending NBA champions when the teams meet in Cleveland on Saturday.
Chicago, which rallied to force overtime before defeating Phoenix 128-121 on Friday, has won the first two meetings with the Cavaliers this season, three straight dating to last campaign and 20 of the last 26 overall. The Bulls won at Cleveland on Jan. 4 - one of just five losses suffered by the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Cleveland stayed in control at home with a 119-104 victory over New York on Thursday in its first game out of the All-Star break, riding LeBron James' 48th career triple-double (18 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds) to a fourth consecutive overall triumph. "We got back to playing our type of basketball," James told reporters. "I've always felt good about our team, but it was just about the way we were playing. I feel really good about the way we're playing right now."
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ABC
ABOUT THE BULLS (29-29): Jimmy Butler was perhaps the most prominent name bandied about leading up to the trade deadline, but he stayed put in the end and led Chicago to its third straight win Friday with a late flurry. He had just 10 points with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter before hitting a huge 3-pointer and a short jumper to help force OT, during which he added seven more points to finish with 22. Anthony Morrow, Joffrey Lauvergne and Cameron Payne - all acquired in a deadline deal with Oklahoma City - did not play Friday, although Morrow and Lauvergne were in uniform.
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (40-16): While Cleveland was quiet at the trade deadline, it expects to get back veteran starters Kevin Love (knee) and J.R. Smith (thumb) in time for the playoffs. In the meantime, the team continues to search for support from role players, and it has to be encouraged by the play of reserve shooting guard Kyle Korver, who has hit 12-of-18 3-pointers while averaging 21 points in his last two games. The Cavaliers still are linked to point guard Deron Williams, who was waived by Dallas this week and eventually could sign with Cleveland, according to reports.
1. Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving scored 23 points versus New York and has recorded at least that many in seven straight games.
2. Cleveland has won 44 straight home contests when shooting 50 percent or better.
3. Chicago is looking to win four in a row for the first time since Nov. 10-17.
PREDICTION: Cavaliers 109, Bulls 99
Stats and Records
Cleveland Off vs
111.5 Points For
103.1 Points Against