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Dave McMenamin @mcten

Kyrie started the game 1-for-7 from the field. He's 9-for-12 since then. He's up to 29 pts. CHI up 83-79 with 8:57 to go.

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell

Rose has been much better with at least 2 days rest. The first part of this series is every other day. He has played 30 minutes so far.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Bulls are shooting 55.7% through 3 quarters, their 2nd-highest FG pct through 3 quarters in a game this season (56.7% vs Kings 2/10/15)

Chris Paul out vs. Rockets

Paul will sit due to the hamstring injury he suffered in Game 7 vs. the Spurs. Said coach Doc Rivers on the injury: "I just don't think he's healthy enough to play. I guess in a Game 7 he could play but I don't think the risk is worth it."

Cavs can't close the gap on Bulls

Coach David Blatt is experimenting with lineups big and small, and the Cavaliers have made a couple runs. But each time, Chicago has responded, and the Bulls lead 81-70 headed to the 4th. Derrick Rose has 23 points. Follow live

AP

Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi

Chris Paul tried to talk his way into lineup tonight, Doc said, "I wasn’t going to listen. It didn’t matter."

Pau Gasol's veteran experience showing

To quote ESPNChicago's Nick Friedell, "These are the games the Bulls signed Pau Gasol for." Gasol has 11 points in the 3rd and is carrying the load for Chicago's big men, as Joakim Noah is a shell of his former self tonight. Follow live

AP

Chicago's work comes from outside-in

The closer you are to the rim, the easier it is to score, right? Not tonight for the Bulls, who are shooting better outside the paint (56.7%) than they are inside the paint (52.9%).

Bulls keeping Cavs at bay

Early in the third quarter, Cleveland tied the game for the first time since the opening tip. But Jimmy Butler is creating havoc in the passing lanes, Derrick Rose is letting fly, and Chicago is on a 10-0 run. Follow live

AP

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

With Chris Paul off the floor, Clippers were outscored by over 7.5 pts per 100 possessions, which would have ranked 27th in NBA.

Chris Paul's absence a touchy subject

Paul will not play in Game 1 vs. the Rockets. He's 1 of just 5 players averaging 100+ touches this postseason, joined on that list by teammate Blake Griffin. Said coach Doc Rivers on the injury: "I just don't think he's healthy enough to play. I guess in a Game 7 he could play but I don't think the risk is worth it."

MVP Curry is the king of analytics, too

Stephen Curry was tops in ESPN's Real Plus-Minus, which measures a player's contribution to his team's scoring margin in points per 100 possessions, at +8.87. Rockets G James Harden, who finished 2nd in MVP voting, was 3rd in RPM (+8.30).

AP

Point guards on fire in Cleveland

Whether it's great offense or not-so-great defense, it's a ton of fun to watch Derrick Rose and Kyrie Irving battle in the playoffs. Rose has 16 points, Irving has 17, and the Bulls lead by 5 at halftime. Follow live

AP