A dominating first quarter by the Chicago Bulls powered the team to a 95-85 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena. Chicago outscored Cleveland by 16 points in the first frame, which was a deficit that the Cavs could not recover from.
Chicago was solid on offense against a Cavs team that has struggled mightily on defense this year, shooting 47 percent from the field and making 23-of-27 from the line. But where they shined, as is often the norm with Tom Thibodeau's teams, was on defense. The Bulls allowed the Cavs to shoot just 37 percent from the field, which pushed Chicago to victory despite the Cavs taking 13 more shots.
Individually, Chicago was led by Marco Belinelli and Luol Deng, who scored 23 and 22 points, respectively. Both Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, the anchors of Chicago's frontline, posted double-doubles. Anderson Varejao kept his own double-double streak alive with 11 points and 15 rebounds, but Cleveland was led in scoring by backup guard Donald Sloan, who scored 14. The Cavs were severely hampered by the absence of rookie guard Dion Waiters.
Chicago will be off on Thursday night before visiting the Detroit Pistons on Friday, while the Cavs will visit the Minnesota TImberwolves on Friday.