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Cavs Need OT To Burn Bulls


The Cleveland Cavaliers picked the right moments to play their best defense and earned their first victory in Chicago since 1994.

The Bulls missed their final four shots of regulation, their first seven of overtime and went nearly six minutes between points in an 89-85 los to Cleveland. Chicago shot just 2 of 11 in overtime and committed four turnovers.

"We just did a much better job in the second half of getting after them, challenging them and not giving them as many easy shots as they got in the first half," Cleveland coach Mike Fratello.

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  • Cedric Henderson, who sank a 70-footer at the first half buzzer, made a bigger play in overtime when he stole the ball from Toni Kukoc, drove for a basket and converted a three-point play to give the Cavs an 86-80 lead with 1:04 to go.

    "It was Henderson's best game this season. We required him to guard Kukoc and that's a tough assignment. He did a little bit of everything tonight," Fratello said.

    "We hit the big shots when we had to, especially in overtime," Henderson said after scoring a season-high 22. "It was a good game for us mentally. I wasn't trying to force anything."

    Trailing 86-60, the bulls finally scored on a 3-pointer by Kukoc and a dunk from Dickey Simpkins to get within one with 28.9 seconds left.

    The Bulls quickly fouled Brevin Knight, who made a pair of free throws with just under 23 to play, giving leveland a 88-85 lead. After Ron Harper missed an awkward 3-point attempt, Corie Blount -- making his Cavs' debut -- made one of two free throws with 3.2 seconds left.

    The victory broke an eight-game losing streak in Chicago for the Cavs and sent the Bulls to their fifth loss in their last seven games.

    "We've got to figure it out ourselves, find better shots, find a way to do it," Kukoc said after shooting 8 of 24 while scoring 22 points. "That's not happening right now."

    Wesley Person scored a season-high 21 points for Cleveland and Knight had 16 assists. Shawn Kemp scored 17 to go with 11 rebounds before fouling out in overtime.

    Harper stole the ball from Knight twice in the final 1:19 of regulation and Knight also missed a layup in the closing seconds. Brent Barry had a wide open 3-pointer but missed at the buzzer, forcing overtime at 80-80.

    Chicago had a 10-0 run early in the fourth for a five-point lead, but the Cavs tied it behind two baskets by Johnny Newman.

    Notes

    Cleveland's Derek Anderson suffered a contusion of the right knee in 13 scoreless first-half minutes and did not play in the second. ... Cleveland's last victory in the United Center came Dec. 19, 1994. ... The Bulls announced their 554th straight sellout, but there were numerous empty seats visible in the lower level of the United Center. ... Fifty-six seconds into the game, play was halted for six minutes after officials ordered the center of the floor to be mopped and toweled off because of "extraneous materials." Officials said a substance used to take scuff marks off the floor had not been completely removed. ... Randy Brown left the game late in the fourth quarter with an injury to his left leg, initially reported as a strained tendon in his knee. The Bulls said he had a strained left hamstring.

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