CHICAGO – The Cleveland Cavaliers got 24 points apiece from Kevin Love and Dwyane Wade in a 113-91 rout of the lowly Chicago Bulls, a victory that extended their NBA-best winning streak to 12 games.
Superstar forward LeBron James delivered a typically stellar performance, scoring 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting; but Wade and Love carried much of the scoring load on Monday night at the United Center in Chicago and did so in efficient fashion.
The 35-year-old Wade, a former NBA Finals MVP for the Miami Heat who has successfully transitioned into a sixth-man role this season for the Cavaliers, came off the bench to make nine of his 13 shot attempts and also was a perfect 5-of-5 from the free-throw line.
Love not only went 8-of-13 from the field overall and 3-of-6 from 3-point range but also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, all on the defensive end.
The Bulls (3-19), who are in full rebuilding mode and were not expected to put up much of a challenge against the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions, fell behind by seven points after one quarter.
The Cavaliers (17-7) stretched that lead to 16 points at the intermission thanks to a well-balanced attack led by Wade – who scored 10 of his 24 points in the second quarter – and then cruised to victory in the second half.
Afterward, Love talked about the main key to Cleveland’s strong play of late.
“Just a consistent effort over a 48-minute span. Early on (in the season), we’d put together really good quarters but we hadn’t put together a full game of sustained effort – and I think that’s what’s happening right now,” the center was quoted as saying on the Cavaliers’ official Web site.