Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/2/12
CLEVELAND - Don't shed any tears for the Chicago Bulls. Sure, they are missing their best player, point guard Derrick Rose, who is recovering from a torn ACL. But this is still a formidable opponent. Just ask the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Bulls annihilated the Cavs on Friday, winning 115-86 before a sell-out crowd at Quicken Loans Arena. Chicago (2-0) has beaten the Cavs nine times in a row. In the last four outings versus the Bulls, the Cavs have been outscored by a combined 121 points. Rose didn't play in three of those four games. The Cavs (1-1) haven't beaten their Central Division opponent since March 19, 2010. "It was a good, old fashioned butt-whippin'," Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said. "We still have a lot to learn. You have to come ready to play. Chicago is a great basketball team, especially on the defensive end. We didn't match their intensity." The Bulls, who had the best regular-season record in the NBA last season, were led by shooting guard Richard Hamilton, who had 14 of his 19 points in the third quarter. Power forward Carlos Boozer, a second-round pick of the Cavs in 2002, finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Guard Nate Robinson came off the bench to score 16 points and dish out a game-high 12 assists for Chicago. "I thought the team's readiness to play was very good," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "Our play was very good. "When you look at intensity, you have to understand where it comes from. It comes from concentration, being prepared and effort." Hamilton made 8 of 12 shots from the field. "It was one of those games where early I was trying to get guys involved," Hamilton said. "In the third quarter, I tried to be a bit more aggressive. Some guy in the crowd called me, 'Old Man Rivers' and that woke me up." He helped the Bulls shoot a sizzling 63.8 percent from the field. "It was awesome," he said. "It felt good. Everybody was catching the ball in their sweet spot. We just made the right play." The Bulls held the Cavs to 40.5 percent shooting, and Cleveland had trouble running its offensive sets. Every time the Cavs would run a play, one of the Bulls was in the passing lanes or impeding the path to the basket. Point guard Kyrie Irving paced the Cavs with 15 points and four assists. But he shot 6-of-15 from the field and turned the ball over four times. He said it was difficult to execute their offense against the Bulls. "Every time I touched the ball, they loaded up on me," Irving said. Center Anderson Varejao, fresh off his 23-rebound performance against Washington on Tuesday, finished with 12 points and five rebounds. Forward Alonzo Gee added 12 points for the Cavs. The first half was 24 minutes of futility for the Cavs. They were blown out of their own gym by the Bulls 60-35. "It's a good wake-up call," Scott said. "You can't play the Bulls and go through the motions. We have to bounce back (Saturday in Milwaukee). To me, losing is frustrating. It's going to be interesting to see how we bounce back. We have to bring the effort every night."
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