CHICAGO (AP) — Caris LeVert scored 23 points, Kevin Love added 20 points and nine rebounds and the Cleveland Cavaliers ended a three-game skid with a 103-102 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.
DeMar DeRozan had 21 points and Ayo Dosunmu added 19 for Chicago, which had won two straight.
Cleveland led 84-77 after three quarters and never trailed in the second half but didn’t shake the Bulls until the final minute. The Cavs led 103-96 after LeVert’s jumper with 2 minutes left, but Chicago made four free throws to close in.
DeRozan made it a one-point game after a driving layup with 29 seconds to play and Chicago had a shot at a winning basket after forcing a shot-clock violation with 4.8 to go. Cleveland, the NBA’s stingiest scoring defense, forced DeRozan into an off-balance shot as time expired.
Chicago managed just one field goal in the final five minutes.
The Cavaliers also got 15 points from Donovan Mitchell in the opener of a home-and-home series. The teams meet again Monday in Cleveland.
Chicago’s Zach LaVine had 15 points on 6-for-16 shooting, a night after scoring a season-best 43 in a win over Detroit.
Nikola Vucevic added 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Cavaliers: All-Star guard Darius Garland missed the game after sprained his thumb in Thursday’s loss at Indiana. F Evan Mobley (ankle) also was a scratch. … The Cavaliers had dropped four of their previous five road games.
Bulls: Coach Billy Donovan sees less reason to closely monitor LaVine in the second of back-to-back games. The Bulls were cautious with his minutes in those situations after offseason knee surgery, but the coach said the All-Star merits more time as long as there are no medical barriers. “He’s definitely gotten better over time. As long as he’s feeling good, he wants to play.”