Bulls, Cavs tangle at Quicken Loans Arena

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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls will try to register another victory on their Circus road trip Saturday night when they face Central Division rivals, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Bulls have been away from home since Nov. 21 and the sojourn has been a disaster in almost an imaginable way.

Former MVP Derrick Rose injured his knee in Portland and it was determined he would miss the rest of the season after surgery to repair medial meniscus tear in his right knee. That comes after Rose missed all of last season recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee.

On the court, the Bulls have gone 1-4 with the lone victory coming last time out in Detroit. Chicago toppled the Pistons, 99-79, to halt that four-game slide.

Luol Deng was magnificent for the Bulls, scoring a season-high 27 points to go along with six rebounds, five assists, two steals and a blocked shot.

"Luol was just off the charts the whole game," Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau said. "He's a great offensive player and a great defensive player."

Taj Gibson scored 23 points off the bench on 11-for-13 shooting. Joakim Noah, Tony Snell and Kirk Hinrich all scored 13 points apiece. Snell is starting for Jimmy Butler, who should be back from a turf toe injury next week, and Hinrich is in the starting lineup for Rose.

The Bulls return to the Windy City for four straight, starting Monday against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Cleveland has lost five in a row and eight of their last nine games, including Friday's 103-86 decision at Boston. Dion Waiters, the subject of recent trade rumors, led the way with 21 points and star Kyrie Irving contributed 17 points.

Anderson Varejao finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds off the bench for the Cavaliers, who shot 37.2 percent and made only 4-of-18 3-pointers. The Cavs struggled to dig themselves out of a 28-10 hole after the first 12 minutes.

"They jumped out on us early. We can't come out like that. We've got to come out with a sense of urgency," Waiters said.

On a positive note, Cleveland's bench scored 56 points and its reserves have notched at least 50 points in four of the last five games. Cavs guard C.J. Miles missed the game with a balky calf and is questionable Saturday. Miles is averaging 10.0 points per game this season, fourth on the team.

The Cavs hope to stop a three-game slide at home and are 3-3 at Quicken Loans Arena as opposed to a 1-9 record away from it. Denver is scheduled to visit the Q on Wednesday.

The Bulls bested the Cavs, 96-81, in Chicago on Nov. 11. Chicago has won 12 of the last 13 against Cleveland and six straight in Ohio.