CHICAGO – Coby White scored 20 points to help offset a career-high nine turnovers in his first NBA start, and the Bulls beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 108-103, on Tuesday night.
White turned in his ninth straight game with at least 19 points. That helped make up for the rookie’s difficulties hanging onto the ball.
Wendell Carter Jr. added 17 points. Lauri Markkanen, Denzel Valentine and Otto Porter Jr. each scored 15. Shaquille Harrison grabbed
10 rebounds. And the Bulls held off the Eastern Conference’s last-place team to win for only the third time in 16 games, even though leading scorer Zach LaVine missed his fifth in a row because of a strained left quadriceps.
The Cavaliers announced a multiyear extension for coach J.B. Bickerstaff on Tuesday, then fell to 5-6 since he took over following John Beilein’s resignation 54 games into his first season.
Collin Sexton led Cleveland with
26 points, giving him 25 or more in seven of the past eight games.
Andre Drummond scored 21. Kevin Love added 17 points, although he made only 2 of 13 3-pointers. Larry Nance Jr. scored 16. But the Cavaliers came up short after winning tight games against Denver and San Antonio over the weekend.
Tied at 83 early in the fourth quarter, Porter drove for a 3-point play to start an 11-2 run that made it 94-85 with 6:54 remaining.
Porter hit a 3 to bump the lead to 97-87 before Cleveland’s Matthew Dellavedova buried two of his own. The Bulls’ Thaddeus Young answered with a 3 to make it a seven-point game.
The Cavaliers hung in, with Love hitting from beyond the arc to cut it to 103-101 with 1:26 left. Carter then hit two free throws for the Bulls, and Cleveland, after calling its final two timeouts with 52 seconds remaining, turned the ball over.
That led to a tip-in for Drummond. A soaring Harrison then rebounded a miss by White and hit two free throws with 13.2 seconds left to boost the Bulls’ lead to 107-103.
Bulls notes: LaVine hopes to return within the next few games and made it clear he does not want to be shut down for the remainder of the season. “Just trying to find the right time to come back,” he said. “Obviously, I don’t want to push it, come back too early and reinjure it, so it’s going to be trying to find that nice balance. But I feel good right now.” LaVine turned 25 Tuesday. ... Guard Ryan Arcidiacono (right Achilles soreness) missed his third consecutive game.
Cavaliers: Visit Charlotte on Friday.
Bulls: Visit Orlando on Thursday.