The Bulls are now on the brink of elimination. A valiant comeback effort after the Cavaliers went up by 17 points in the fourth quarter fell just short, and Cleveland is now up 3-2 in the series after a 106-101 victory.
The Bulls got off to a really great start in this one. Derrick Rose was attacking Kyrie Irving relentlessly and Taj Gibson started hot as well. The Bulls ran out to a 10-point lead ... and then everything basically fell apart. The offense turned into a dumpster fire and LeBron James took over.
It was a 10-point deficit at halftime when the Bulls made a mini-run at the start of the third quarter, but then the Cavaliers punched back and went up by 17 points in the fourth quarter before Chicago got back into it. Jimmy Butler and Mike Dunleavy led the charge with a small lineup out there after Gibson was ejected, and Butler even had a chance to take the lead in the final minute.
However, Butler's three was well off, and the Cavaliers sealed the game with a key offensive rebound and some free throws. James finished with 38 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and zero turnovers. Irving had 25 points.
Rose cooled off big time after his hot start, scoring 16 points on 7-of-24 shooting. An injury to his shooting hand was obviously bothering him and he couldn't hit a thing in the second half. Butler had 29 points and Dunleavy had 19.
The Bulls now have their backs against the wall going back home. Who knows if Pau Gasol will be back. This thing isn't over yet, but it's not looking good.