The Chicago Bulls know every win is precious at this point in the season as they try to stay in the playoff race. The Bulls secured one of their most crucial recent victories Monday night when they beat the Boston Celtics 102-96 on the road behind Nikola Vucevic's 29 points and nine rebounds. Chicago (24-33) is tied with Washington for the Eastern Conference's 10th seed -- the final spot to qualify for the play-in tournament for the final two playoff berths -- as the Bulls head into Wednesday night's game at Cleveland (20-37).
Chicago Bulls (24-33, 10th in the Eastern Conference) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (20-37, 13th in the Eastern Conference) Cleveland; Wednesday, 7 p.m. EDT BOTTOM LINE: Cleveland enters the matchup against Chicago as losers of three in a row. The Cavaliers are 3-7 against Central Division opponents. Cleveland has a 4-2 record in games decided by 3 points or fewer. The Bulls have gone 14-13 against Eastern Conference opponents. Chicago ranks fourth in the Eastern Conference scoring 50.4 points per game in the paint led by Thaddeus Young averaging 10.6. The two teams play for the third time this season. The Bulls defeated the Cavaliers 106-96 in their last meeting on April 17. Nikola Vucevic led Chicago with 25 points, and Collin Sexton paced Cleveland scoring 22 points. TOP PERFORMERS: Darius Garland leads the Cavaliers averaging 1.9 made 3-pointers, and is scoring 17.2 points per game while shooting 39.7% from beyond the arc. Kevin Love is averaging 2.3 made 3-pointers and 13.8 points over the last 10 games for Cleveland. Vucevic is averaging 23.2 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists for the Bulls. Young is averaging five rebounds and 10.7 points per game over the last 10 games for Chicago. LAST 10 GAMES: Cavaliers: 3-7, averaging 107.8 points, 40.3 rebounds, 27 assists, 7.8 steals and 4.2 blocks per game while shooting 47.2% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 110.7 points on 48.7% shooting. Bulls: 5-5, averaging 109.4 points, 42.6 rebounds, 28.7 assists, 6.9 steals and four blocks per game while shooting 48.7% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 109.2 points on 48.0% shooting. INJURIES: Cavaliers: Dylan Windler: out (knee), Larry Nance Jr.: out (personal), Damyean Dotson: out (knee). Bulls: Zach LaVine: out (health and safety protocols). ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar. The Associated Press
The Bulls defeated the Celtics, 102-96. Nikola Vucevic led the Bulls with 29 points and nine rebounds, while Coby White added 19 points and seven assists in the victory. Jayson Tatum recorded 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the Celtics in the losing effort, his first career triple-double. The Bulls improve to 24-33 on the season, while the Celtics fall to 31-27.