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winning streak on line as Bulls battle Cavaliers

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Tonight is the real test

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls (10-20) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (23-9)

6 p.m., WGN

Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland

Injury Report:

Miraculously, no Cleveland Cavaliers player has come down with the Bubonic Plague yet. We’ll keep you updated.

The only news on the injury front is that the Cavaliers have assigned injured guard Isaiah Thomas to the G League so his return is coming.

Preview:

Tonight, will the Chicago Bulls go through their recent historical trend of inexplicably beating a LeBron James led team in a regular season game?

Considering the Niko led Bulls have played like the second coming of the 95’ Bulls mixed with the Showtime Lakers over the last seven games, the Bulls will probably get that eighth consecutive win tonight.

After walloping the Orlando Magic 112-94 last night, the Bulls pushed their winning streak to seven games, the longest such streak since Dec. 2014. Back then, guys like Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol, Jimmy Butler, and Joakim Noah were running things in Chicago. If the Bulls extend the winning streak to eight tonight, it would match their longest streak since February 2012.

It won’t be easy though, obviously. LeBron and company have hit their stride, winning 18 of their last 20 games after beginning the season 5-7. The Bulls are also on the second night of a back-to-back while the Cavaliers haven’t played since Tuesday and may have extra incentive to win after dropping that game to the Milwaukee Bucks in excruciating fashion.

In the first meeting between the two teams, the Cavaliers rolled to a 113-91 victory behind 23 points from James and one of Dwyane Wade’s vintage throwback games that he pulls out of nowhere every two weeks or so (24 points on 9-for-13 from the field).

The Bulls also didn’t have an answer for Kevin Love (Bulls struggling against stretch big men is nothing new) who dropped 24 points on an efficient 8-for-13 from the field.

But so much has changed with the Bulls since then. Nikola Mirotic is basically Lebron James right now. Portis is playing possessed and/or opponents are too scared of playing him too tight in fear of....retribution. David Nwaba is the latest member of a long line of Chicago Bulls certified “Lebron slower downers;” also know as rangy wing players that are elite defenders that can at least make James’ job more difficult (think Luol Deng and Butler). Kris Dunn is pointing a big middle finger at Tom Thibodeau with his play this season compared to last.

The Bulls can basically do anything they want right now and after the Bulls win against the Magic yesterday, second-year guard Denzel Valentine proclaimed that the Bulls “are one of the better teams in the East.”

Tonight, against a legitimate opponent whose injury report doesn’t look like a casualty list from D-Day, we’ll find out if Valentine has a point.