Fast start helps the Cavaliers beat the Bulls in Game 2, even series at 1-1
CLEVELAND – The response, at first, was through fashion.
Ditched midseason in hopes of it being a bit of a gesture of unification with his Cavaliers’ teammates, Lebron James once again was back to wearing his trademark headband in Game 2 of his team’s second round series with the Bulls.
Perhaps it was a response Chicago’s more enthusiastic effort in Game 1 that send his favored Cavaliers down to defeat on Monday night that brought out this small but notable piece of equipment. Or maybe it meant nothing.
For the true response to a 99-92 loss two days earlier by Cleveland was on the court in a historic twelve minutes to open the game. It wasn’t a good thing for Chicago fans.
The Bulls allowed a playoff franchise record 38 points in the first quarter and fell behind by 20 points. They wouldn’t recover over the next 36 minutes as they lost Game 2 106-91 Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
It ties the series at 1-1 and sends it to Chicago where they will take the floor at the United Center for Game 3 on Friday Night at 7 P.M.
James, headband and all, led the way for the Cavaliers with 33 points while Kyrie Irving added 21. Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 18 points while Derrick Rose had 14.
For all intents and purposes the Bulls may have been looking forward to that contest very early in the one they played two days before. Cleveland started the game on a 13-2 run and continued to build the lead the rest of the quarter. James had 14 points during the offensive barrage and when it was over the Cavaliers had a 38-18 lead-the most points they've scored in a quarter during a playoff game.
After that the Bulls were playing catch up. They were able to stop the bleeding in the second quarter by outscoring Cleveland 27-26 but that did little to put a dent into a sizable deficit before halftime.
In the third quarter the Bulls showed signs of true life. Trailing by 25 points Chicago tore off 14-unanswered and when Butler knocked down a three-pointer with 6:03 left in the quarter the lead was down to 72-61. Hope, however, was only a mirage on this night.
Cleveland quickly pushed the lead back to 18 points before the end of the quarter to decrease the likelihood of a comeback. Over the final 12 minutes the Bulls could never put a sizable run together again as a bit of a new look Cavaliers team-in play and fashion-brought this series to even.