The Cleveland Cavaliers' stingy defense withstood the Chicago Bulls' late run and ended 2022 with a 103-102 victory. The Cavs ended a three-game losing streak and overcame absences of starters Darius Garland and Evan Mobley due to injury. The Cavs improve to 23-14 and remain in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, while the Bulls drop to 16-20 and stay in 10th place.
Caris Levert scored a game-high 23 points while Kevin Love followed with 20. Jarrett Allen secured 10 rebounds, including four offensive. Donovan Mitchell went 5-16 from the field for 15 points, but had a game-high six assists. Cedi Osman and Isaac Okoro paced the bench with 12 points and 11 points, respectively.
Down 36-33 in the second quarter, the Cavs went on a 13-0 run in the second quarter for a double-digit lead, and led by as many as 12 points in the first half. Cleveland also had a 9-0 run in the third quarter for a 77-66 lead, and led by as many as 14 points in the second half. The Cavs out-rebounded Chicago 50-40, collected six more assists, 20-14, and made 13 three-point shots to the Bulls' seven. However, the Cavs committed 21 turnovers to the Bulls' 15, and had fewer steals than the Bulls, 15-9.
For Chicago, DeMar Derozan scored a team-high 21 points while Ayo Dosunmu scored 19. Four Bulls starters scored double-digits including Nikola Vucevic, who recorded a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
With two minutes remaining, Caris LeVert made a two-point shot for a 103-96 lead, but the Bulls scored six straight points to pull within one point. The Cavs committed a 24-second violation and had to defend for the final five seconds, but forced DeMar Derozan to miss the final shot, and hung on for the victory.
The Cavs are 2-0 this season against the Bulls and won both regular season meetings in Chicago. After a day off, these teams will meet again and open the new year on Monday at 7:00 PM in Cleveland.