Bulls hand Cavs third straight defeat

 03 Dec 2016 - 8:58

Bulls hand Cavs third straight defeat
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) drives past Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade (3) during the second half at the United Center. Chicago won 111-105. Dennis Wierzbicki

AFP

Chicago: The reigning NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers suffered their third straight defeat on Friday, falling 111-105 to the Bulls in Chicago.

Jimmy Butler scored 26 points, Dwyane Wade had 24 and Taj Gibson chipped in 23 for the Bulls, whose starters all reached double figures.

Rajon Rondo contributed a triple-double of 15 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds.

"We found a way to win," Wade said after the Bulls bounced back from a disappointing loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

"We didn't play great tonight, but against a good team that came out and attacked us from the get-go, we found a way to pull it out."

Cavaliers superstar LeBron James scored a game-high 27 and handed out 13 assists.

But the Cavaliers couldn't bounce back from their embarrassing 113-94 home defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

That followed an upset loss to the Milwaukee Bucks and while James shrugged off the significance of back-to-back defeats, this third straight loss will spark concern.

Wade beat James on a driving layup to extend Chicago's lead to 107-101 with 2:30 remaining after Cleveland had pulled within three.

Wade grabbed an offensive rebound of a Nikola Mirotic three-point attempt to seemingly put the game out of reach.

But Kyrie Irving, who finished with 20 points, scored on back-to-back baskets in the final 20 seconds to draw the Cavaliers to within 109-105 before Butler hit a pair of free throws to cap the win.