Bynum's double-double boosts Cavs

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers found out what it was like to play with a bona fide low-post threat.
Center Andrew Bynum showed flashes of yesteryear with 20 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in the Cavs' 97-93 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday before 17,296 at Quicken Loans Arena.
The 7-foot, 294-pounder connected on 8-of-14 shots from the field and 4-of-4 from the foul line in 30 minutes. All of his totals were season highs.
"It felt good," Bynum said. "I won't lie to you."
He missed the entire 2012-13 season with knee issues. Since signing with the Cavs in the summer, he has worked his tail off getting in shape and trying to regain his All-Star form.
His results up until now have been shaky at best. However, his first double-double of the season might be a sign of things to come.
Bynum helped the Cavs (5-12) snap a five-game losing streak. They came into Saturday's game having lost eight of their last nine games.
For the Bulls (7-8), forward Luol Deng fired in a game-high 27 points and matched his career high with 11 assists.
"Right now, I think we have to get our concentration back and our edge back defensively," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "I think everyone is worried about how we're going to score.
"I thought the guys shared the ball and made plays for each other."
The Bulls are now 1-3 since the season-ending knee surgery by point guard Derrick Rose.
Cavs coach Mike Brown was obviously impressed with his big man.
"Everyone saw what Andrew is capable of bringing to us," he said. "We're still learning how to play with him the right way."
Brown was not given any restrictions on Bynum's minutes, so he played him as long as he needed.
Bynum took pride in the five blocks -- the most by a Cavs player since J.J. Hickson had five swats vs. New York on Feb. 25, 2011.
"That's my job," he said. "Today, I was able to have a little more bounce and jumping ability. I hope my knees feel good after this."
Shooting guard Dion Waiters added 20 points for the Cavs, who snapped a six-game losing streak to the Bulls at The Q. Point guard Kyrie Irving fired in 19 points and had six assists.
Cavs power forward Tristan Thompson's rebound in traffic with nine seconds left -- his 14th of the game -- led to two free throws for the final margin. He also had 14 points for his eighth double-double of the season.
Bulls rookie Tony Snell had a career-high 18 points in his third start of the season. Power forward Taj Gibson also had 18 off the bench.
"I'm trying to go out there and make plays," Snell said. "They're trusting me that I can make plays, too. We're just really trying to build that trust with each other."
NOTES: After a four-game absence, G C.J. Miles started at shooting guard for the Cavaliers. He had been suffering from a strained right calf. ... Cavs F Earl Clark was a scratch after getting sick after the Boston game on Friday. ... Saturday's performance was Bynum's 36th career game of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. ... Snell was making his third consecutive start at shooting guard. "Everyone has to understand what their job is," Thibodeau said. "If one man isn't doing their job, everyone looks bad." ... Snell is replacing G Jimmy Butler in the starting lineup. Butler has a right toe injury. Before he can return, Thibodeau said Butler needs to get all the swelling out of his toe and he has to return to the practice court. "He's two steps away right now," the coach said. ... Brown said the Bulls are still a quality team without G Derrick Rose, who is out for the season after having knee surgery. "They have a great coach in Tom Thibodeau," Brown said. "If you look at their main guys, they've been in that system for four or five years now. They have some NBA All-Stars. Take that combination of experience and toughness and it's a tough team, a resilient team." ... The Cavs' bench outscored the Bulls 33-20 and has now outscored the opposition in 14 of 17 games.

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