The Chicago Bulls, playing without starters Luol Deng, Derrick Rose and reserve Kyle Korver, took a slim one-point lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers, 26-25, after one quarter of play at Chicago's United Center on the final night of the NBA regular season.
Richard Hamilton leads the Bulls with eight points as the teams play in the second quarter. A Bulls' victory tonight over Cleveland will give them 50 for the strike-shortened season against just 16 loses. They will enter the first round of the NBA playoffs, which get under way on Saturday, with the best record and top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Cleveland comes into Thursday night's game with a 21-44 record, which leaves the Cavs out of the playoffs for the second straight season following the controversial departure of LeBron James.