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Published: Friday, 1/16/2009

Cavs stumble in overtime to Bulls

LeBron James commits an offensive foul against the Bulls  Tyrus Thomas. LeBron James commits an offensive foul against the Bulls Tyrus Thomas.
CHARLES REX ARBOGAST / AP Enlarge

CHICAGO With explosive drives and pinpoint passes, Derrick Rose is attracting plenty of attention in his first NBA season.

Primal screams usually are not part of the repertoire but they were this time.

Rose scored 16 points after a slow start and Luol Deng added 22 to lead the Chicago Bulls to a surprising 102-93 overtime victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night after LeBron James missed a jumper at the end of regulation.

Tied at 87 after James 21-footer banged off the rim, the Bulls scored 12 of the first 13 points in OT to avoid a four-game sweep by the Cavaliers.

Rose had a 3-point play 52 seconds into the extra period, but it was another one late in regulation that drew a Kevin Garnett-like scream from someone whose flashy play belies a reserved demeanor.

It s been awhile, said Rose. I was struggling the whole night. My shots were all long, hard. Just to get that was a relief.

In the only other NBA games Thursday, Portland beat New Jersey 105-99 and Denver beat Phoenix 119-113 in overtime.

After Rose converted the three-point play in OT, Kirk Hinrich buried a 3-pointer with 3:36 left that made it 93-87.

James, who scored 28 points, then hit 1 of 2 free throws, but Deng put the Cavaliers away with back-to-back 3-pointers from the left corner the second bouncing straight up off the rim before dropping through the net to make it 99-88.

You saying it was luck? Deng asked.

Mo Williams scored 26 points for the Cavaliers, hitting 5 of 10 3-point attempts. But it was a rough night for James, who shot 8-for-28 and was 1-for-6 from beyond the arc. He also committed a season-high eight turnovers in what he said was probably my worst game of the season.

It was a far cry from his performances early in the season against the Bulls, when he scored 41 twice in a four-day span in November.

I absolutely had no lift tonight, said James, who was playing with a cold. Every time that happens, when I get sick, I miss layups layup after layup, things I usually make.

Besides losing the game, the Cavaliers suffered a big loss in the process.

Guard Delonte West could be out for a while after he broke his right wrist in a nasty collision with Rose late in the first quarter. That happened when West off to a strong start with 11 points tried to block Rose s layup from behind with 1:36 left.

He lost his balance in mid-air and both players crashed to the court. But while Rose quickly popped up, West stayed down clutching his wrist with a non-displaced fracture. He also banged his face, resulting in a cut above his left eye that required two stitches.

They told me I m going to be out a few weeks with this fracture of my wrist, said West, who is left-handed. I really don t use my right hand, anyway.

Even so, he s scheduled for an MRI on Friday morning.

The Cavaliers, who began the night with the league s best record, were already missing forward Ben Wallace (intestinal flu) and center Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Now, they ll probably have to make due without another starter in West, who was fourth on the team at 12.3 points per game.

They say all teams go through it, but for some odd reason every year our team goes through it a little bit differently than everybody else, James said. We don t have guys going out for two, three days. Now, we ve got Delonte with a fractured wrist. No telling how long he ll be out. Z [Ilgauskas] is out for a month. Ben s been out for a few games. It s tough.

Trailing 83-81 after Rose s three-point play with 4:50 left in regulation, Williams and James hit two free throws apiece and Anderson Varejao dunked to give the Cavaliers an 87-83 lead with 2:10 left.

But they couldn t put the Bulls away.

They had one more shot after Rose s two free throws tied it with 17 seconds left, but James missed that jumper.

LeBron had a great look at the end of [regulation], Williams said. We ll take that any day.



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