Instant Reaction: Cleveland Cavaliers 97, Chicago Bulls 93

Nov 30, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Bulls small forward Tony Snell (center) drives between Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompson (13) and point guard Kyrie Irving (2) in the first quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Final Outcome:

What’s a win? The Cleveland Cavaliers (5-12) got one of those Saturday night for the first time in 14 days after battling with the Chicago Bulls (7-8) until the very end for a 97-93 victory. The Wine & Gold came out with an offensive outburst to start the game, then held their own down the stretch defensively thanks to a team effort. Steals, blocked shots, smart defense (i.e. making sure the Bulls wouldn’t draw a foul at the end of the game) and a little bit of luck at the end helped Cleveland erase an ugly start to the fourth quarter.

Key Play to the Game:

Two stellar defensive plays and fast breaks by Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters with just about three minutes left in the game helped the Cavaliers to finish off the Bulls down the stretch despite making it a close affair in the final quarter of play. Offense was king in the first act of the game for the Cavs, but Cleveland buckled down despite Chicago making it a two-point game with six minutes left in the game. Irving’s steal and break down the floor for a lay up gave Cleveland a two-point lead, and Dion’s scoop of Luol Deng’s errant pass led to another fast two points for Cleveland, giving the Cavs a 93-88 lead with two minutes left in the game.

Wine & Gold MVP:

Mr. Andrew Bynum. Holy hell, did he play some smart basketball tonight. Early on in the third quarter our big guy, who looks to be a consistent starter every night (at least for the time being) after playing multiple back-to-backs already this season, came from behind Chicago shooting guard Kirk Hinrich, adjusted his body to avoid contact, and gracefully swatted the lay up attempt. He brought it tonight in all phases, completing his best overall game in Wine & Gold to date. He tallied 20 points, 10 rebounds, five blocked shots and three assists, while converting on 8-of-14 (57.1 percent) from the field and all four of his free throw attempts.

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Coach Brown Breakdown:

Guards attacking, teammates moving, players passing. Houston, we have offense in Cleveland. After the starters for the Cavs totaled just 56 points overall in the past matches against the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, the Wine & Gold came out with fire in their eyes, allowing the team to race to an early 20-10 lead over the first half of the first quarter. Cleveland totaled 56 points in the first half, so that’s why that first 56 should sound so alarming to you. And let’s take a look at the starting lineup from tonight’s game: Irving/Miles/Gee/Thompson/Bynum. No Delly, no Sergey, but players who are meant to be starters. And plus, we saw some of that defense that Coach Brown loves to see, so let’s be thankful that we saw a victory for the first time in two weeks despite almost having a heart attack from seeing those three missed shots barely rattle in for the Bulls at the end.

Up Next:

The Cavaliers will have some rest to enjoy their hard-fought victory before the Denver Nuggets () come to Quicken Loans Arena on Weds., Dec. 4. It will be Cleveland’s first matchup against the Nuggets this season. The game will tipoff at 7 p.m. Let’s try and keep this little thing we have going for us right now rolling.

Topics: Andrew Bynum, Cleveland Cavaliers

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