Cavs struggle in second half, lose to Bulls 99-93

Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavaliers fell 99-93 to the Chicago Bulls Thursday night at United Center. Chicago moved within a game and a half of the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers for the final spot in the Eastern Conference. A three-game homestand opens Friday. It was a bright spot in an otherwise dismal stretch in which James's Cavs have lost three in a row and 10 out of 16 games this month. According to Cleveland.com, Lebron James and Kyrie Irving did not address the team following the loss in the hands of the Bulls.

James took this game personal.

Blake Griffin scored 31 points and Chris Paul added 29 and 10 assists as the Clippers handed the Suns their 10th straight loss, 124-118. But against the lowly Sixers, Cleveland regained some of its swagger before heading into April when the real fun begins. We know James has levels he can go in and out of, and there's probably still one more he's saving for the playoffs right now.

"Our on-the-court chemistry took a hit".

"Our 3 guys are going to have to lead us out of this rut", James Jones said.

James Harden, who led Houston with 30 points, sank a 3-pointer late in the first quarter to give the Rockets an National Basketball Association record 1,078th 3-pointer this season, breaking the old one-season mark set last season by Golden State. As a group, they shot 52.9 percent from the field - the best of any unit that played five or more minutes together - in addition to being +11 together which not surprisingly, was tops among the 19 different lineups head coach Brad Stevens played against the Bucks. We're taking steps forward. They also beat the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Cavs play host to Philadelphia on Friday. They have been very inconsistent this month, especially on the defensive end and it is a cause for concern for "The King". Following Thursday's loss in Chicago, the Cavs held a players-only meeting to clear the air. And the Wine and Gold made short work of them - leading by as many as 32 points in the third quarter and getting the much-needed blowout win. He fouled out roughly eight seconds after checking back into the game in the fourth quarter with five fouls.

Given the state of the Cavs, this one was significant.

Lue said team meetings can be useful to a point. The Cavaliers are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 home games, 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games playing on 0 days rest and 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall. An MRI showed Covington had a "slight" meniscus tear. Improved to 15-1 against Atlantic Division teams.

Richard Jefferson (left knee tendonitis) and Kyle Korver (sore left foot) were out again for the Sixers game. Cleveland dropped to 47-27 and allowed the Boston Celtics to regain the top spot with a 48-27 record. Free broke in with the Sixers in 1975. "There's no reason. Push forward and see ways to control your own destiny".

  • Julie Sanders