LaVine exploded for 44 points, marking the fourth time this season he has scored 40+ points and the second time this season he has scored 40-plus against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He also added 10 rebounds and a season-high eight assists as he was on triple-double watch all night long.
A night after scoring just 81 points in an ugly loss to the Sacramento Kings, the Bulls flipped the script by shooting 51.8 percent from the field and scoring 118 points. They now have 18 wins this season and actually only have the 11th-worst record in the NBA right now.
The Bulls actually trailed by 11 points in the second quarter, but LaVine exploded and single-handedly got them back in it to take a 59-57 lead at the break. The Bulls star poured in 27 of Chicago’s 59 points in the opening half. He also led the team in rebounds in the first half (seven) and dished out three assists. With Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., and Otto Porter Jr. out with their respective injuries, we all kind of expected the Bulls’ offense to be the Zach LaVine show:
At halftime, Zach LaVine has:— Zach LaVine Talk (@NBCSBulls) January 26, 2020
- 27 of the Bulls' 59 points
- 10 of the Bulls' 22 field goals
- Three of the Bulls' seven 3-pointers
- Seven of the Bulls' 18 rebounds
The Bulls then exploded in the third quarter, making their run when they were aggressive. All of the Bulls’ makes in the third quarter were either a couple feet from the basket (which represented a majority of those makes) or 3-point field goals as they stretched out their lead to 99-76 at the end of three frames.
The lead grew to 24 early in the fourth quarter before the Cavaliers made it temporarily interesting late with a “rally,” getting the margin to as small as nine with just under two minutes to play. But this was really the only life the home team had in the second half as Zach LaVine and co. closed it out without too much drama to beat Cleveland for the second time this season.
Tomas Satoransky and Kris Dunn were both aggressive in this one, driving hard to the basket and finishing through contact on multiple occasions. Both players finished with double digits in the scoring department, and Dunn was more efficient than normal hitting four of the six shots he attempted. Satoransky’s counting numbers obviously weren’t as gawdy as LaVine’s, but the Bulls point guard was a team-high plus-15 in the first half before finishing the night with a full stat line of 19 points, six rebounds, six assists sand three steals.
Kevin Love led the way for the Cavaliers with 20 points. Collin Sexton had 18 points on 7-for-15 from the field. Cedi Osman chipped in another 18 points for a Cavaliers team that now has the second-worst record in the NBA.
The Bulls return to action on Monday night against the San Antonio Spurs. Tip is at 7 p.m. CT at the United Center.