Chicago (7-20) at Cleveland (9-20)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Cleveland, OH
Temp: 85° F
  • Game info: 7:30 pm EST Fri Dec 26, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Cleveland Cavaliers look to bounce back after having their first three-game win streak in three seasons snapped as they host the struggling Chicago Bulls at the Gund Arena.

Rookie phenom LeBron James scored 34 points Thursday, but it wasn’t enough as the Cavaliers lost 113-101 in overtime to Tracy McGrady and the Orlando Magic.

“I play the same way every game. It doesn’t matter who I play against or what team we are playing against. I just try and help my team win,” James said of facing McGrady, who scored 41.

“He is an All-Star. He is a future Hall of Famer. Guys like him, you cannot stop. You can only hope to contain him.”

James has been doing plenty to help his team win lately. During its three-game winning streak, he averaged 30 points, including 36 points in Cleveland’s 88-81 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec. 19 that snapped a 34-game road losing streak, tied for the second-worst in NBA history.

The Cavaliers have split their last 10 games, making their record a bit more respectable after a disappointing 4-15 start.

Carlos Boozer had 18 points and 19 rebounds against the Magic, recording his fifth double-double of December and scoring in double figures for the 11th time in 12 games this month.

The Bulls are coming off Tuesday’s 95-78 loss to the New Jersey Nets—their fourth straight defeat. Rookie Kirk Hinrich scored 17 points and Jerome Williams had 15 for Chicago, which has dropped nine straight on the road.

Jamal Crawford had five points, only the second time in 14 games he has been held under 10.

The Bulls, who have already matched last season’s total of three road wins, are 3-8 since Scott Skiles took over as coach from Bill Cartwright on Nov. 24.

STANDINGS (through Dec. 24): Bulls - 8th place, 13 GB, Central Division. Cavaliers - 6th place, 12 GB, Central Division.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Bulls - F Kendall Gill, F Williams, C Antonio Davis, G Crawford, G Hinrich. Cavaliers - F Ira Newble, F Boozer, C Zydrunas Ilgauskas, G James, G Kedrick Brown.

TEAM LEADERS: Bulls - Crawford, 16.1 ppg and 5.3 apg; Tyson Chandler, 10.3 rpg. Cavaliers - James, 19.8 ppg and 6 apg; Boozer, 10.5 rpg.

SEASON SERIES: Cavaliers, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Saturday; Cavaliers, 95-87. At Chicago, James had 34 points in the second game of the Cavaliers’ three-game winning streak. Crawford led the Bulls with 16 points.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bulls - 3-10 on the road; Cavaliers - 7-6 at home.

INJURIES: Bulls - F Chandler (back); F Scottie Pippen (knee); G Roger Mason (groin); G Jay Williams (pelvis/knee); C Eddy Curry (left knee). Cavaliers - C DeSagana Diop (knee); G Dajuan Wagner (knee).

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Team Stat Leaders