Vucevic strong double-double powers Bulls past Markkanen's Cavs to end losing streak

2022-01-20 03:50
Credit: - Scanpix

DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points and Nikola Vucevic contributed 24 points and 12 rebounds as the host Chicago Bulls (28-15) stopped a four-game losing streak by cooling off the Cleveland Cavaliers (27-19) with a 117-104 (24-29, 34-20, 29-29, 30-26) victory on Wednesday.

Ayo Dosunmu had 18 points and eight assists and Coby White chipped in 16 points as the Bulls snapped the Cavaliers' five-game winning streak.

Chicago withstood a sparkling effort from Cleveland's Lauri Markkanen, a former Bull, who scored a season-high 28 points on 9-of-14 shooting.

Player of the Game
Ayo  Dosunmu
Ayo Dosunmu
Points 18
Accuracy 7-8
Rebounds 3
Assists 8

After trailing by 11 points in the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers whittled the deficit to 103-102 with 4:18 to go. However, the Bulls surged ahead once more, responding with a 14-2 run to close the game.

Darius Garland notched 20 points and 12 assists for Cleveland, while Evan Mobley (18 points) and Kevin Love (13) followed in double figures. Jarrett Allen snagged 10 boards for the Cavaliers.

Alex Caruso returned to the Chicago lineup for the first time since Dec. 20. He was set to come back earlier this month upon recovering from a left foot sprain but tested positive for COVID-19 shortly thereafter.

Caruso, who was playing under a team-imposed minutes restriction, scored nine points in 22:55. With Cleveland keeping things close late in the third quarter, Caruso drained a 3-pointer at the 3:01 mark and added a layup 29 seconds later to help the Bulls open an 11-point edge.

The Bulls led 58-49 at halftime, overcoming 2-for-9 struggles from 3-point range to shoot 55.8 percent from the field overall.

After Markkanen hit a trey to put the Cavaliers on top 49-48 with 3:33 to go in the second quarter, Chicago closed the half on a 10-0 run. DeRozan led all scorers with 18 at the break. He finished the night with seven assists.

Bulls starters Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball remain out, both with left knee injuries.

Chicago evened the season series after losing by 23 points in Cleveland on Dec. 8. The teams are set to meet twice in March to close the regular-season series.

Bulls: DeMar DeRozan 30 (14/24 2PT, 7 AST, 2 BLK, 4 TO), Nikola Vucevic 24 (9/15 2PT, 2/6 3PT, 12 REB), Ayo Dosunmu 18 (4/4 2PT, 3/4 3PT, 8 AST), Coby White 16 (4/9 2PT, 5/5 FT, 4 STL).

Cavaliers: Lauri Markkanen 28 (4/5 2PT, 5/9 3PT, 5/6 FT, 7 REB), Darius Garland 20 (8/12 2PT, 1/6 3PT, 5 REB, 12 AST, 4 TO), Evan Mobley 18 (7/11 2PT, 5 REB, 2 BLK), Kevin Love 13 (4/6 2PT, 8 REB, 4 AST).

Full game highlights:

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