CHICAGO – LeBron James could sense the Cleveland Cavaliers were starting to click the last time they lost. But a streak like this? He wasn’t about to say he saw that coming.
Dwyane Wade and Kevin Love each scored 24 points, James had 23, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Bulls, 113-91, Monday for their 12th straight win.
Backed by a trio of stars, the Cavaliers matched their longest winning streak since the 2014-15 season. They dropped a tight game Nov. 9 at Houston and haven’t lost since. The streak started with wins at Dallas, New York and Charlotte.
“I’m not Nostradamus, so I did not see the streak,” James said. “But in the Houston game, I’d seen the way we played in that game. And I’d seen that if we could build off that game, then we can kind of turn the things around. That was a great road trip for us.”
Wade made 9 of 13 shots in his first game in Chicago since agreeing to a buyout with his hometown team in late September. Love grabbed 13 rebounds and made 8 of 13 from the field. James finished 9 of 15 with seven rebounds and six assists. The Cavaliers shot just under 52 percent.
Kris Dunn led the Bulls with 15 points. Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday scored 14 apiece, as the Bulls fell to 3-19 with their ninth straight loss.
“When the lights turn on, for whatever reason, when things get tough, we stop doing the things that make us a solid team, that make us a team that gets a good shot,” coach Fred Hoiberg said.
Derrick Rose ended his self-imposed separation from the Cavaliers. The point guard, who has been dealing with a sprained left ankle for much of his first season with Cleveland, returned to the Cavs on Monday to resume rehab and treatment. A frustrated Rose had left the team on Nov. 22 to contemplate his future.
Hoiberg said the Bulls will decide after Tuesday’s practice whether Nikola Mirotic will travel with the team to Indiana. Even if Mirotic goes, Hoiberg said it “might be a stretch” for him to make his season debut against the Pacers on Wednesday. The Bulls play at Charlotte on Friday and host New York on Saturday.
Mirotic has been sidelined since Oct. 17, when he suffered two facial fractures and a concussion in an altercation at practice with Bobby Portis.
“This is a good one to come here for me and play well, but our team is the most important thing. So, no statements. No storylines.” – Wade on returning to Chicago.
Bulls: Bulls opponents have scored 100 or more points 16 times. ... Portis had 10 points and nine rebounds after missing a game because of a bruised right arm. ... Holiday hit three 3-pointers and has made at least two in 20 of the 21 games he has played.