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National Basketball Association
Preview
Cleveland at Chicago
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, October 31, 2014
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls are the two popular picks to battle each other for Eastern Conference supremacy. Both teams will get an early look at how they stack up against one another when Derrick Rose and the Bulls host LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Friday. Chicago dominated the New York Knicks on the road in their opener on Wednesday while Cleveland showed it still has some work to do in its first game.

James played like the nerves were taking over in his return to the Cavaliers, struggling to 17 points on 5-of-15 shooting while matching a career high with eight turnovers in a 95-90 home loss to New York on Thursday. Kevin Love (19 points, 14 rebounds) performed well in his debut but Cleveland got little out of its reserves in falling short. Rose’s healthy return to the lineup was a welcomed sight on Wednesday but the Bulls were most impressive on the interior, where Pau Gasol posted a double-double in his team debut and Taj Gibson scored 22 points.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, FSN Ohio (Cleveland), CSN Chicago

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (0-1): James had as many turnovers (four) as points in the first half of Thursday’s game and never seemed to find a rhythm with his new teammates. The new big three of James, Love and Kyrie Irving performed well in spurts on the floor together, but Irving and James combined to go 2-of-11 from 3-point range while turning the ball over 12 times. Part of Cleveland’s rebuilding effort over the summer included adding veterans Shawn Marion and Mike Miller to beef up the bench, but the two were held scoreless in a combined 13 minutes.

ABOUT THE BULLS (1-0): Rose played only 10 games in the previous two seasons and got the luxury of taking the fourth quarter off after putting up 13 points in 21 minutes during the 104-80 drubbing of the Knicks on Wednesday. “We‘ve just got to stay consistent with it and not get too big headed and know we can always improve as a basketball team, improve individually every day,” Rose told reporters. “It’s just the first game, (but) when things run smooth like they were running tonight, everyone will look at our entire team and see how deep we are.” That depth includes guard Aaron Brooks, who added 13 points off the bench in his team debut and offers a similar skill set to take some pressure off Rose.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Chicago G Jimmy Butler (thumb) sat out the opener and is expected to miss 2-4 weeks.

2. James was held to 18.3 points on 39.2 percent shooting in three games against the Bulls last season.

3. Chicago’s bench put up 55 points on 21-of-34 shooting on Wednesday.

PREDICTION: Bulls 92, Cavaliers 88
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Cleveland 0-1 L2 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-1
Chicago 1-0 W1 0-0 1-0 0-0 1-0 0-0 1-0
Last Meeting
Cleveland Chicago
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
1/22/14 CHI 98 CLE 87 87 41 37.5 98 43 52.9
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Cleveland K. Irving 26 52.6 1
Chicago D. Augustin 27 57.1 6
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Cleveland A. Varejao 11 7 4
Chicago J. Noah 18 3 15
Assists Player  
Cleveland K. Irving 5
Chicago D. Augustin 7
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Cleveland D. Waiters 96 44.0 7
Chicago D. Rose 145 48.0 34
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Cleveland K. Love 50 8 42
Chicago P. Gasol 77 16 61
Assists Player  
Cleveland M. Dellavedova 31
Chicago J. Noah 29
Quickchart Matchup
Cleveland Off vs  Chicago Defense
90.0 Points For
80.0 Points Against
45.7 FG%
36.5 FG%
33.0 Reb
38.0 Reb
Chicago Off vs  Cleveland Defense
104.0 Points For
95.0 Points Against
50.7 FG%
53.6 FG%
38.0 Reb
35.0 Reb