The Cleveland Cavaliers lost their 16th straight game Saturday night when they faced the Chicago Bulls. Carlos Boozer returned to the court after injuring his ankle last week and playing the Cavs was the perfect opportunity to get Boozer back in action.
Derrick Rose scored 24 points, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 92-79 victory Saturday night that extended the Cleveland Cavaliers’ losing streak to 16 games.
Cleveland (8-35) has also lost 20 straight on the road, one shy of the franchise record. The Cavs last won away from Quicken Loans Arena on Nov. 9, with a 93-91 victory over New Jersey. They haven’t won anywhere since a home win over the Knicks on Dec. 18.
Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng scored 20 points apiece for Chicago, which blew most of a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter before pulling away again.
Cleveland held the Bulls to four points in first 7:02 of the fourth quarter, closing within two on a runner by Antawn Jamison with 4:37 to play. Chicago didn’t make a field goal in the period until Rose’s layup with 4:20 left.
Rose was fouled on the play and his free throw put Chicago up 80-75. One possession later, Kyle Korver hit his third 3-pointer of the game, pushing the lead to eight points.
Boozer’s three-point play and Rose’s jumper pushed the run to 11-0. Cleveland got no closer than 13 points the rest of the way.
Cleveland lost 21 straight on the road from Jan. 13 to April 4, 2003. The Cavaliers ended up with the first pick in the draft that year after winning the NBA lottery. They used that selection to take LeBron James, the subject of so much scorn in Cleveland the days.
Cleveland’s next game is Monday at New Jersey. The Cavaliers have lost 26 of their last 27 games since starting the season 7-9.
The Bulls took a quick 12-2 lead before Cleveland closed within two late in the first period. Deng hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the quarter, putting Chicago up 22-17.
That turned out to be the start of a 17-2 run for the Bulls. The punchless Cavaliers started both the second and third periods by missing their first seven shots.
Chicago led by as many 20 points, but the Cavaliers mounted a rally in the second half of the third quarter, closing within seven points. But Rose hit a layup and Deng a 3-pointer, putting Chicago up 72-60.
Boozer returned to the Chicago lineup after missing three games with a sprained left ankle. He was 8 for 18 from the floor and grabbed 10 rebounds.
The Bulls lead the NBA in opponent field-goal percentage and the Cavaliers didn’t do any harm to Chicago’s ranking in that category. Cleveland shot 27 for 84 (32.1 percent) for the game.
Notes: The Cavaliers are now 0-13 when shooting under 40 percent from the floor this season. … The Bulls improved to 30-14 on the season. Chicago didn’t win its 30th game until Feb. 24 last season. The Bulls are a perfect 9-0 against the Central Division.
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