Cavs hold off Bulls 103-102 to end three-game skid

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.

TIP-INS

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.”

The Associated Press