(Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
If there was ever a regular season Cavs game that proved the benefits of a veteran-led team, this was the game. The Cavs survived 26 lead changes as they finished the game outscoring the Bulls 19-16.
The Cavs have been known in the past for sleeping on inferior opponents and play to their competition. This Bulls team began the season with a 3-20 record before their 7 game win streak that was snapped tonight. But this Cavs team, who have the Warriors on their annual Christmas Day game next didn't look ahead.
LeBron James and Kevin Love led the Cavs with 34 and 27 points respectively. LeBron hit a critical fadeaway jumper late in the 4th quarter. The Bulls' future star Denzel Valentine pulled within one (113-112) but LeBron sank two free throws and held off the youngest team in the NBA.
Ty Lue sat out this game with an illness after meeting with the media during pregame. Acting Head Coach Larry Drew said during postgame Lue wasn't feeling 100% and was told 30 minutes before tipoff he had to step in tonight.
Isaiah Thomas warmed up with the Cavs in full uniform tonight. Thomas will not play on Christmas against the Warriors but his return should be very soon.
Cavs (24-9) next game will be on Christmas Day this Monday on the road against the Golden State Warriors while the Bulls (10-21) will travel to Boston this Saturday to face Kyrie Irving's Celtics.