Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 3/2

Game 1: Sunday, March 2nd
Game 2: Thursday, March 6th
Game 3: Thursday, April 3rd
Game 4: Friday, April 11th

Cavaliers 96

(35-27, 16-17 away)

Bulls 107

(25-36, 14-15 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    6:00 PM ET, March 6, 2008

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    CLE 17 34 16 2996
    CHI 21 26 34 26107

    Top Performers

    Cle: L. James 39 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Chi: B. Gordon 23 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast

    Gordon, Deng score 23 apiece as Bulls bounce Cavs

    CHICAGO (AP) -- LeBron James was at it again. Then, the Bulls swarmed him.

    Ben Gordon and Luol Deng scored 23 points apiece, and Chicago overcame James' 39 to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 107-96 Thursday night.

    Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

    After setting MSG ablaze with his 50-point performance against the Knicks on Wednesday night, LeBron James attempted an encore in the house that M.J. built on Thursday. His scoring touch remained somewhat intact but the rest of his game fell off in a big way. Here's a look at the numbers:
    Wed. at Knicks Thu. at Bulls
    Points 50 39
    FG-FGA 16-30 13-27
    Rebounds 8 3
    Assists 10 1
    Turnovers 2 4

    The Bulls went on a 17-point run early in the third quarter to grab a 66-53 lead, and Gordon scored nine straight during a 51-second burst late in the period to make it a 17-point game. That was enough to give Chicago back-to-back wins for the first time since late December and offset another strong effort by James.

    "So much has happened during the season, but we've got to stick with it and keep playing," Deng said. "It's all about a rhythm."

    James certainly had it early on.

    Cleveland's superstar made it look easy while scoring 26 in the first half, after stealing the show in New York the previous night with 50 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds during a 119-105 victory -- a performance that left the crowd chanting "MVP!"

    Elias Says

    LeBron James scored 89 points over a two-day span: 50 at New York on Wednesday night and 39 at Chicago Thursday night. It's the most points scored by one player over a two-day span since Kobe Bryant scored 110 points last March 22 and 23 (60 points at Memphis and 50 points at New Orleans).

    • Read more Elias Says

    He hit 13 of 27 shots overall but was just 3-of-12 in the second half. The Bulls attributed the drop-off to a tighter defense, and although James acknowledged they were "a little more aggressive," he also said, "I took shots that I know I can make, but I missed."

    Compounding matters was the fact that his teammates weren't converting.

    "We've got to dig down deep and find out who we want to be," coach Mike Brown said. "Play 110 to 115 on the road and win sometimes and look pretty winning? Or do we want to be a playoff team that's going to go far in the playoffs and have a chance to compete for an NBA championship? Get ugly and dirty sometimes by getting stops first and figure out how to score second. It's very concerning for me right now."

    The Cavaliers got 15 points from Devin Brown and 14 from Wally Szczerbiak, but that wasn't enough to overcome Chicago's balance.

    Former Bull Ben Wallace had a quiet night. He finished with two points and 10 rebounds in his first appearance at the United Center and second against Chicago since being traded to Cleveland for Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden in a three-team deal. And he got outplayed by rookie Joakim Noah, who grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds while scoring 13 points.

    "I had some great experiences here," said Wallace, who reportedly clashed with Noah. "Unfortunately, things didn't work out this season like we would have liked to, but now I'm OK."

    The Bulls outscored the Cavaliers 34-16 in the third quarter with Gordon, Deng and Hughes leading the way.

    Deng had eight in the period, while Hughes scored seven of his 12 during that 17-point run.

    Gordon did his damage during a 51-second stretch late in the quarter, scoring nine to turn an eight-point lead into an 80-63 advantage and sending the Bulls to their second straight win. That matches a season-high, but extending it to three straight will be tough, considering they visit Boston on Friday.

    "We are starting to figure out our strengths and weaknesses," said Kirk Hinrich, who scored six points. "We are starting to get some momentum and this is a big win."

    Game notes

    Bulls F Tyrus Thomas would not reveal his reasons for skipping Wednesday's practice, but said a recent reduction in playing time had nothing to do with it. Thomas was a no-show after playing just under nine foul-plagued minutes in Tuesday's win over Memphis, drawing a two-game suspension from the team. Thomas said he had a "nice, long conversation" with interim coach Jim Boylan that "broke some barriers." ... Boylan picked up a technical foul late in the second quarter, after Noah was called for offensive interference.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 96 107
    FGM-FGA 33-84 (.393) 40-91 (.440)
    3PM-3PA 9-22 (.409) 7-16 (.438)
    FTM-FTA 21-27 (.778) 20-31 (.645)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-24 5-26
    Assists 16 22
    Turnovers 13 8
    Steals 3 6
    Blocks 11 5
    Fast Break Points 20 20
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (0/0) 24 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 8 22

    Top Performers

    LeBron James James
    Points: 39
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3
    Ben Gordon Gordon
    Points: 23
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0