Boozer leads Bulls to rout over Cleveland
Bulls forward Carlos Boozer and center Joakim Noah talk during a break in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, in Chicago.
Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Bulls to a 118-92 rout of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night at United Center.
It was the third straight game that Boozer has eclipsed 20 points. This time he did it against the team that drafted him in 2002.
Joakim Noah added 11 points and 11 rebounds while Luol Deng had 19 points and seven assists for the Bulls, who beat the Cavaliers for an 11th straight time.
Chicago (19-13), which posted a season-high in points, moved to 11-1 when Boozer and Noah have double-doubles.
Dion Waiters led Cleveland (8-28) with 18 points. C.J. Miles and Kyrie Irving had 15 points apiece.
The Bulls turned a close game into a rout in the second half by dominating the offensive glass and forcing turnovers. Shooting 53.7 percent from the field and hitting 10 of 14 3-pointers didn't hurt, either.
The Bulls' bench, which has also been a glaring weak spot most of the season, helped stabilize the offense as Chicago overcame an early 10-point deficit. Taj Gibson had 18 points in reserve, and Marco Belinelli added 15 as Chicago broke the 100-point barrier for the first time since Christmas Day.
Cleveland had won three of its last four on the road. The Cavaliers haven't beaten the Bulls since March 19, 2010.
Tristan Thompson continued to thrive in relief of Anderson Varejao, who missed his 10th straight game due to a right knee contusion. Thompson scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds. It's just the third time in 10 games he failed to record a double-double.
Irving and Miles each scored nine first-quarter points as Cleveland jumped out to a 30-22 lead, leading by as many as 10.
Belinelli had 13 points in the second quarter to jumpstart the struggling Bulls offense. Gibson added 11 first-half points as Chicago took a three-point advantage into the break.
The Bulls' defense also seemed to kick in as Irving was held scoreless in the second quarter, and Miles was limited to three points.
Irving had four assists in the first quarter, and only two the rest of the game.
Miles left in the third quarter due to back spasms and did not return.
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