James puts Cavs in control, Jazz tie Nuggets series

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - LeBron James scored 15 of his 40-point haul in a spectacular fourth quarter display as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Chicago Bulls 112-102 on Monday to seize a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference playoff series.

James added eight rebounds and eight assists in helping the Cavs retain homecourt advantage in the best-of-seven first round series over a determined Bulls team.

"(The Bulls) kept scrapping and every time they would do that (we) would hit a big shot," James told reporters after making 16-of-23 shots from the field.

"In Game One, I was feeling out the defense too much and they were giving me the jump shot. I had to take it."

The score was tied 77-77 at the end of the third quarter before the Cavaliers scored five unanswered points at the start of the fourth.

The Bulls twice pulled within three points in the final few minutes but Cleveland responded with three-pointers from James and Jamario Moon, who finished with 12 points.

The Cavaliers were strong from long range the entire game and shot 56 percent from the field while making 10-of-20 three pointers.

Joakim Noah scored 25 points and made 13 rebounds for Chicago, while Derrick Rose scored 23 and made eight assists.

Game Three is in Chicago on Thursday.

In the Western Conference, the weakened Utah Jazz outlasted the Denver Nuggets 114-111 to even their best-of-seven series 1-1.

Deron Williams finished with 33 points and 14 assists while Carlos Boozer added 20 and 15 rebounds to overcome the absence of key injured players Mehmet Okur and Andrei Kirilenko. (Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)