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Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers: Game preview, start time, TV information

LeBron James, Kyrie Irving & Company hope to build on their modest two game winning streak with a victory over their division rivals on national television.

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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

After beginning their West Coast road trip by losing three straight, as well as the three games prior to departing, Cleveland swept a back-to-back set at Staples Center to push themselves back over .500 and calm the many storms that swirled over their heads.

Tonight, David Blatt and the boys return home (where they play each of the next four and 10 of their next 13 overall) to face the Chicago Bulls, who are scuffling a bit, losing five of their past seven. Tom Thibodeau's squad will be without Mike Dunleavy (foot) and Joakim Noah (ankle) for the contest. On the Cavs' side, forward Kevin Love is officially questionable; he practiced Sunday and will be reevaluated after morning shootaround to see how his back is feeling.

Who: Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers
When: 7:30 PM EST
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Television: TNT

After starting the season on fire, Jimmy Butler has cooled a bit, and his drop in production has mirrored his team's slowdown. Over the past seven games, he's shooting just 38% from the field and scoring 14.6 points per game, compared to 48% shooting and 21.9 points per game in his first 32 contests of the season.

He isn't alone in his struggles - Nikola Mirotic (32% shooting in January) has hit a bit of a lull as well. Known for the past half decade for their stellar defense, the Bulls rank just 12th in Defensive Rating this season, relying instead on Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol to carry them on the offensive end. This year's annual Chicago point guard reclamation project is Aaron Brooks, who buoys the second unit by scoring 11 points per night on 45/43/88 shooting splits, the latest in the Nate Robinson / D.J. Augustin line of career resurgences in the Windy City.


It sort of feels like the Cavaliers are catching the Bulls at just the right time - no Noah, no Dunleavy, Jimmy Butler falling back to earth a bit. They're a team that can't be counted out, because Tom Thibodeau is great at getting his team prepared and to rise to the occasion, but with the Cavs starting to come together, I like the home team's chances. Cavs 111, Bulls 104.

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