Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls Preseason Game Recap: Chemistry in Progress

Derrick Rose Cavs Bulls

(Cleveland, OH) — Despite the return of LeBron James, the preseason woes of the Cleveland Cavaliers continued as they dropped a 108-94 decision to the Chicago Bulls at Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday night. The defeat now gives the Cavaliers an 0-4 mark for the exhibition portion of their schedule with one game remaining.

James made his first appearance in a preseason game this season and finished with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Iman Shumpert also returned after injuring his foot in the preseason opener on Oct. 4, scoring 12 points on the night. Derrick Rose was the only other Cavs player to tally double figures, ending the evening with 13 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Prior to the game, Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue spoke about how Shumpert was able to get back on the court faster than his anticipated 7-10 days of rehabilitation.

“He practiced yesterday, practiced well, moved really well,” Lue said. “He never wants to sit out. He said he feels great, no soreness, so he’s playing.”

The Bulls were able to string a pair of 10-point first-quarter leads, the latter advantage coming at 21-11 with under three minutes to play in the period. That fast start was aided in part by the Cavaliers missing six of their first eight shots. However, before the horn sounded, the Cavs managed to score nine of the final 12 points to slice the deficit to just four points at 24-20.

In the second quarter, each team had their runs, with the Cavs continuing their push by starting the period on a 16-3 surge to take a 36-27 lead on a Jeff Green one-handed alley-oop dunk that looked eerily similar to his much talked about dunk from Sunday. For the remainder of the quarter, Chicago was in control and used a 23-6 run to head to halftime holding a 50-42 lead.

During that first half, the Cavs shot just 37 percent on 16-of-43 from the field, with three players combining to miss all 17 of their shot attempts: Kevin Love was 0-for-9, while, Dwyane Wade and J.R. Smith each missed their four shots. Things didn’t improve for the threesome after the break, with the final numbers showing them shooting a combined 2-for-25 on the evening.

The third quarter saw Cleveland unable to make much headway, even with Chicago shooting just 26 percent from the field during the 12 minutes of action. By the time the period had ended, the Bulls still held a five-point lead at 72-67 and during the early stages of fourth quarter, the margin was pushed back up to double-digits at 82-72. The lead eventually reached as much as 16 midway through the final period at 96-80.

Rose’s impressive performance was a continuation of his solid preseason performance, with Lue describing before the contest about he goes about coaching the point guard.

“I want him to be comfortable, I want him to play free,” Lue said. “I want him to be aggressive, I don’t want to hold him back and have him thinking on the floor, I want him to be who he is.”

The Cavaliers close out the preseason with a game at Orlando on Friday night, with tipoff set for just after 7 p.m. ET.

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