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NBA Playoffs: Cavs lose 99-96 on Derrick Rose game winner

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The Cavs are now down 2-1 to the Bulls.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of the game, the Cleveland Cavaliers defended Chicago Bulls seemingly perfect - Iman Shumpert started on Derrick Rose and then Tristan Thompson switched on Rose as rose prepped to shoot and Taj Gibson picked Shumpert.

Sometimes, however, shots are just doing to go in no matter how well you defend. Such is the case of Rose's game winning 3-pointer, which he hit over the outstretched arms of Thompson, to give the Bulls a 99-96 win a 2-1 series lead.

Rose scored 30 points to lead the Bulls and he went 9-10 from the line after failing to get to the line in Game 2. Jimmy Butler, who received, his most improved player award before today's game, added 20 points for Chicago while also hounding LeBron James most most of the night.

LeBron led the Cavs with 27 points on 8-25 shooting to go along with 14 assists and eight rebounds. Kyrie Irving struggled as well, as he went 3-13 from the field for just 11 points after appearing to injure his ankle early in the first quarter.

The game as a whole was often tightly contested and sloppy. Neither team held a double-digit lead at any point in the game and both teams shot under 40 percent from the field. There were also 17 different lead changes - nine of which occurred in the fourth quarter and 19 ties during the game. The Cavs, who lead by as many as weight during the first half, did not hold their first fourth quarter lead until LeBron hit two free throws with 41.5 seconds left.

The Cavs, in particular, struggled offensively for stretches due to LeBron and Irving's struggles. Bright spots did come from J.R. Smith, who returned from suspension and scored 14 points, including a game-tying three in the fourth quarter, but they were far and few between.

Game 4 of Cavs-Bulls is on Sunday in Chicago and will air on ABC. Tip-off at at 3:30 p.m.