Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/5

Game 1: Wednesday, November 5th
Game 2: Saturday, November 8th
Game 3: Friday, January 2nd
Game 4: Thursday, January 15th

Cavaliers 106

(5-2, 2-2 away)

Bulls 97

(3-4, 3-1 home)

    Coverage: FSOH

    8:30 PM ET, November 8, 2008

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    CLE 32 22 20 32106
    CHI 27 30 20 2097

    Top Performers

    Cle: L. James 41 Pts, 13 Reb, 4 Ast

    Chi: B. Gordon 29 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast

    LeBron scores another 41 points on Bulls to help Cavs to 4th win in row

    Associated Press

    CHICAGO -- LeBron James saw defenders come at him from all angles and did what he normally does. He made them look invisible.

    James toyed with Chicago again, scoring 41 points for the second time in four days, and the Cleveland Cavaliers hung on to beat the Bulls 106-97 on Saturday night.

    Fast Facts

    • In two games against the Bulls this season, LeBron James is averaging 41 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists.

    • This was the seventh straight time James scored at least 30 points against Chicago.

    • The Bulls lost for the first time in three home games.

    -- ESPN research

    This one came after a big performance in a 14-point win over Chicago at home Wednesday night. James scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter to start a 15-0 run as the Cavaliers turned a three-point deficit into an 89-77 lead. And he hit two key 3-pointers with the defense on him after Chicago cut it to two in the closing minutes.

    "When you come into somebody's building and make big shots like that to quiet the crowd, those bring smiles to my face," said James, who hit four of seven 3-pointers after going 1-for-19 through the first six games. "That's just how I've been playing lately. I've just been trying to keep a smile on my face and dominate at the same time."

    It was a difficult night for the Bulls, who learned guard Kirk Hinrich will miss up to three months with a thumb injury. Andres Nocioni's 3-pointer made it 96-90 with 3:30 left and two more jumpers by Ben Gordon made it 96-94 with 2:15 remaining, but the Bulls simply could not pull it out.

    James answered with a 3-pointer from the wing and, after two free throws by Gordon, struck again from long range, leaping after the shot went in. That made it 102-96 with 1:28 remaining, and the Cavaliers hung on from there.

    James scored 16 points in the fourth quarter and wound up with 30 or more against Chicago for the seventh straight time. He hit 13 of 29 shots and grabbed 13 rebounds.

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 16 points for Cleveland, which was coming off a 111-107 victory over Indiana on Friday night, but the night belonged to James.

    "Even though we've seen him do some of this stuff over and over again, some of the stuff just catches you off guard," Ben Wallace said. "You're not really expecting it."

    Gordon scored 29 points for Chicago. Luol Deng added 20, and Derrick Rose had 16.

    The Bulls took a 77-74 lead into the fourth, but went cold at the start.

    James hit three free throws, a 3-pointer and a reverse layup to start the run. Daniel Gibson added a 3-pointer falling down and a layup, and Anderson Varejao finished it with a jumper that made it 89-77.

    "The fourth quarter is where I make my name," James said. "That's the quarter where it's time to close the game out. I know I'm not going to do that every night, I'm not going to be perfect every night. But I try to put my team in position to win ballgames at the end of the game. I was able to do that for them tonight."

    Chicago didn't score until Rose drove the lane with 7:33 left in the game, and the late charge that followed wasn't enough for the Bulls, who now have a shortage in a backcourt that not too long ago was bursting at the seams.

    Hinrich tore the ulnar collateral ligament trying to knock the ball away from Amare Stoudemire during Friday's win over Phoenix, leaving the Bulls without a reliable backup behind No. 1 draft pick Rose.

    In his sixth season, Hinrich was averaging 8.3 points and 4.0 assists in mostly a backup role now that Rose is in the fold. Thabo Sefolosha started the first five games at shooting guard but struggled, so coach Vinny Del Negro went with Hinrich and Rose against the Suns.

    Larry Hughes will figure into the backcourt mix once he returns from a dislocated right shoulder, but like Gordon and Sefolosha, he's not a point guard.

    On Saturday, Gordon started with Rose in the backcourt and they figure to see more time together.

    "I think we can still learn each other," Gordon said. "Especially with Kirk out, we're going to have to really jell quickly and get to know each other so we can help each other out."

    Game notes

    Besides Hinrich, the Bulls were missing F Drew Gooden. He sprained his right ankle Friday and is day-to-day. ... As if the injuries to Hinrich and Gooden weren't enough, Gordon was icing his lip before the game. Nothing serious, though. "Broken bone in my lip," he joked. ... This was Cleveland's third of four consecutive games against Central Division opponents. ... Cleveland lost both games at Chicago last season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 106 97
    FGM-FGA 38-82 (.463) 36-85 (.424)
    3PM-3PA 6-16 (.375) 5-13 (.385)
    FTM-FTA 24-28 (.857) 20-23 (.870)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-36 17-38
    Assists 18 17
    Turnovers 12 14
    Steals 6 5
    Blocks 5 9
    Fast Break Points 10 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (1/0) 21 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 14 10

    Top Performers

    LeBron James James
    Points: 41
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Ben Gordon Gordon
    Points: 29
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0