|Date of game: 10/31/2014
Recap: Chicago vs. Cleveland
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers didn't open their season how many anticipated.
But they didn't have much time to dwell on Thursday's disappointing home opener, and that showed with a hard-fought overtime victory against a division rival on Friday.
James scored 36 points with eight rebounds to lead Cleveland to a 114-108 win over the Chicago Bulls in the first installment of what proves to be a heated rivalry between the two teams.
"We took two steps forward tonight," said James. "We have an opportunity to be very good and tonight was an example of how good we can be."
Tristan Thompson deposited 16 points with 13 rebounds -- 12 coming on the offensive glass -- and Kevin Love contributed a 16-point, 16-rebound double-double for the Cavs, who were 2-8 over their last 10 in Chicago.
Kyrie Irving totaled 23 points in the win.
Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich each scored 20 points for the Bulls, but Rose left the game late in the third with a sprained left ankle and did not return to the contest.
"Of course, my ankle is throbbing a little bit right now, but it comes with just playing basketball," said Rose. "I'm just happy that it's not that serious."
Pau Gasol netted 15 points with nine boards and six blocks, and Mike Dunleavy added 14 points in the setback.
James, who tallied 17 points and committed eight turnovers in Thursday's 95-90 loss at home to the New York Knicks, scored the first eight points for Cleveland in the extra session for a 106-102 lead with 1:30 left.
Hinrich converted a pair of free throws to make it a one-possession game, then James missed a jumper at the other end, but Thompson was there as he was all night to haul in the offensive board and he proceeded to slam over a pair of defenders to extend the lead.
A moving screen from Joakim Noah coming out of a timeout led to Irving's free throws in the closing seconds to secure the win.
A 15-4 run by Chicago to begin the fourth quarter gave it a lead for the first time since the opening quarter.
Aaron Brooks tallied eight points -- including the last five -- during the run to help the hosts grab an 84-82 lead.
James immediately answered at the other end with a layup before Anderson Varejao made a short jumper in the lane to help Cleveland regain the lead.
The Bulls took a 90-89 advantage with just over four minutes left when Noah hit Taj Gibson with a nice bounce pass in the lane, with the latter finishing on a dunk.
The seesaw affair continued as Love knocked down a pair of free throws.
Following a turnover by James, Dunleavy found Hinrich in the left corner for an open 3-pointer. Dunleavy then found Hinrich for another successful trey after an Irving turnover and the Bulls mounted a 96-91 lead with 1:15 to play.
Out of a timeout, James lofted a pass up to Love for a slam, but Hinrich responded once again with a jumper to maintain the five-point edge.
Tony Snell committed a foul on James, who sunk the ensuing free throws, which preceded Irving's three-point play to tie it at 98-98 with 27.9 seconds remaining.
A stagnant play drawn up for Chicago produced an air ball at the buzzer of the shot clock from Hinrich, and Cleveland got the ball with 3.9 seconds left, but Love's deep 3-pointer was off the mark as time expired.
Earlier, Thompson provided a lift off the Cavs bench in the first quarter. Chicago made 11-of-19 (57.9 percent) attempts from the floor, compared to 11- of-23 (47.8 percent) for Cleveland, but the Bulls were outrebounded 14-7 -- including 7-2 on the offensive glass. Thompson pulled down four of those offensive boards and added four points and two assists, helping the visitors take a 28-27 lead after 12 minutes.
Uncharacteristically, Chicago was outrebounded 27-15 in the opening half and despite making over 50 percent of its shots, trailed 58-52 at the break.
Dunleavy and Snell wrapped 3-pointers around an alley-oop dunk by Love to trim the deficit to three, 71-68, with under three minutes left in the third.
Cleveland would respond, however, finishing the final 1:47 on a 7-1 run to take a 78-69 margin into the final frame.Game Notes
Bulls guard Jimmy Butler missed his second straight game to start the season
due to a sprained thumb ... Thompson tied the franchise record for offensive
rebounds ... The Bulls went 13-2 against the Cavs while James was with the
Heat ... Cleveland outrebounded Chicago 52-42 ... The Cavs scored 25 points
off of 20 turnovers ... Cleveland owned a 58-44 edge in the paint ... Brooks
finished with 11 points and Snell knocked in 10 ... Shawn Marion netted four
points off the bench in the win, the only other Cleveland reserve to score
... Noah pulled down a team-high 13 rebounds ... Cavaliers coach David
Blatt won his first NBA game.