Cavs’ Bickerstaff on win over Bulls: ‘We really wanted to get this win’

The Cavaliers were looking to snap a two-game losing streak when they faced the Bulls Wednesday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, and they got a little break as Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan, who’s the team’s leading scorer, missed his second straight game due to health and safety protocols. In addition, the Bulls were without Coby White, Matt Thomas, and Javonte Green(health and safety protocols). They were also without Alex Caruso(hamstring).

Cleveland pretty much led from start to finish and led by as many as 26 points in this one. Ultimately, they routed the Bulls 115-92. The Cavaliers led by nine at the break and busted things open in the third to take an 82-66 lead into the fourth.

The Cavaliers(14-12) are now 5-2 in their last seven games and snapped Chicago’s(17-9) four-game winning streak.

Here is the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over Chicago.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-After a subpar performance against Milwaukee, Darius Garland got it done for the Cavs Wednesday night. Garland had a game-high 24 points to go along with six assists. Coming into this game, Garland is one of three NBA players(Trae Young and Russell Westbrook) averaging 19.0-plus points on .450-plus FG% and 7.0-plus assists per contest.

-Rookie Evan Mobley had another stellar performance for Cleveland. Mobley scored 16 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and a game and career-high five blocks and two steals. The five blocks are the most for a Cavs’ rookie since LeBron James. According to Elias Sports, Mobley is the first NBA rookie to have a game of at least 16 points, nine rebounds, five blocks, two steals, and a .727 FG% in over 30 years. Wow! 

-Jarrett Allen’s career-high seven-game double-double streak was snapped Monday night against Milwaukee, and now it’s time to start a new one. Allen recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds Wednesday night. 

Defense: Cleveland held Chicago to 27% from three-point range and forced 18 Bulls’ turnovers. The Cavaliers held another team under 100 points for the 11th time this season. 

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

It was all great for the Cavs Wednesday night. No issues, no problems.

Bottom Line:

After 26 games, Cleveland had the toughest schedule in the NBA. After Wednesday’s victory over Chicago, the Cavs have won 10 games versus teams with .500-plus records this season, and what makes that number even more impressive is this team has battled injuries, so to be 14-12 after 26 games, with such a demanding schedule, is a win for the Cavs.

“We really wanted to get this win, and we had to put some pressure on them,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said after the game. “Evan led the way with that, which is good because we want him to be aggressive.”

What’s Next:

Cleveland heads back on the road to battle the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night.

Best of the Rest:

-Cleveland has six players in double figures. Lauri Markkanen added 14 points, Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio had 11 points off the Cavs’ bench. Rubio also added a game-high nine assists. The Cavs’ bench outscored the Bulls’ bench 39-16.

-Zach LaVine led Chicago with 23 points, Lonzo Ball had 19 points and seven assists, and Nikola Vucevic added 18 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks.

Watch below as Mobley, Garland, and Markkanen react to Cleveland’s win over the Bulls:

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