(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cleveland Cavaliers can grab more space ahead of the Chicago Bulls in both the Central Division and Eastern Conference standings when the two foes collide Easter Sunday at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cavaliers are three games ahead of the Bulls for the Central lead and the East's No. 2 seed.
Cleveland has defeated Philadelphia and Miami to start a three-game homestand and handed the Heat a 114-88 beating on Thursday. Former Heat star and beloved son of Akron, Ohio, LeBron James scored 23 points, grabbed eight rebounds, handed out seven assists and blocked three shots.
Kyrie Irving also had 23 points for the Cavs, who made 50 percent from the field and scored 23 points off 16 Miami turnovers. Iman Shumpert added 17 points off the bench and Tristan Thompson pulled down 15 rebounds.
"I think our activity was high," James said. "We were flying around and our activity level was very high."
James is averaging 25.6 ppg in his last 17 games and is third in the NBA in scoring with that same average.
The Cavaliers set a franchise record with their ninth 25-plus points victory of the season. The previous mark of eight was established in 1988-89. A win Sunday would give the Cavs 50 in a season for the eighth time and a 31-7 record since Jan. 15.
Cleveland has won 25 of the last 26 games when scoring at least 100 points and is 39-5 when reaching the mark this season. It is 19-0 in 2014-15 when holding the opposition to 90 points or fewer.
Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (back) did not dress against the Heat and is probable Sunday. Love has a team-high 37 double-doubles this season.
The Cavs have won 17 in a row at Quicken Loans Arena and are 28-9 as the host. They haven't lost at home since Jan. 7 versus Houston and will visit Milwaukee next on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Bulls will play three in a row on the road against Cleveland, Orlando and Miami, and are 21-16 outside the Windy City. The Bulls, though, have dropped seven of their last nine road assignments.
Chicago is 6-2 in its last eight games overall and recorded an 88-82 victory versus the Detroit Pistons Friday night at the United Center. Pau Gasol's three-point play with 5.7 seconds left lifted the Bulls to victory. After Taj Gibson missed a jumper, Gasol was there for the putback slam. He was fouled on the play and made the ensuing free throw to secure the victory.
"We found a way to pull it out," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. "I was pleased with the effort."
Gasol ended with 26 points and 10 rebounds for his NBA-leading 50th double- double of the season, while Jimmy Butler had 18 points and Joakim Noah added six points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. Noah has 773 career blocks and needs two to pass Scottie Pippen (774 blocks with Bulls) for second in franchise history. Michael Jordan leads the Bulls with 828 career blocks.
The Bulls, who have committed 12 turnovers or fewer in eight of the past 10 games, have allowed 94.7 ppg in the last 26 contests.
Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich (knee) and rookie forward Doug McDermott (back) could miss this game against the Cavaliers. Bulls rookie Nikola Mirotic is averaging 19.4 ppg in his last 17 games.
Chicago is 1-2 against Cleveland this season, but has won 14 of the last 18 meetings between the Central foes. James is averaging 31.0 points in three games against the Bulls this season.