NBA Roundup: Bulls outlast Cavs in season-opening showdown

Nikola Mirotic scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls held on for a 97-95 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday in the season opener for both teams.

Nikola Mirotic scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls held on for a 97-95 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday in the season opener for both teams.

Bulls guard Derrick Rose added 18 points and five assists as Chicago’s Fred Hoiberg won his NBA coaching debut five months after the team dismissed Tom Thibodeau.

LeBron James led Cleveland with 25 points and 10 rebounds in 36 minutes. Kevin Love tallied 18 points and eight rebounds in his first game since dislocating his left shoulder in April.

President Barack Obama watched the game from a front-row seat. Obama abandoned his standard suit and tie for a casual dress shirt, and he cheered after several aggressive drives to the rim by Rose.

The Cavaliers pulled within 97-95 in the game’s final seconds. James drove to the paint in an attempt to even the score but Bulls forward Pau Gasol swatted James’ layup attempt out of bounds.


After trailing for most of the game, Cleveland grabbed an 83-82 lead on a layup by James. The Bulls responded with an 11-2 run to regain a 93-85 edge.

Cleveland closed the third quarter on an 8-0 run to cut Chicago’s lead to 71-68. The rally took place without James, who lay on his bothersome back near the Cavaliers’ bench and stared toward the rafters. James returned to the game with 9:53 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Chicago led 46-40 at halftime behind Hoiberg’s spread offense, which featured three-point shooting from Mirotic, Doug McDermott and Tony Snell.

McDermott put the Bulls on top by nine points with a three-pointer from the left and a baseline drive. James answered with a three-pointer with 1.9 seconds left in the half to slice the deficit to six.

A 17-2 run by the Bulls in the final six minutes of the first quarter gave Chicago a 26-17 lead. Mirotic initiated the rally by hitting back-to-back shots from beyond the arc and converting a three-point play for nine consecutive points. 

Pistons open with road win

ATLANTA - The Atlanta Hawks had no answer for center Andre Drummond inside or guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope outside as the Detroit Pistons got their season off to a winning start.

Drummond had 18 points and 19 rebounds, while Caldwell-Pope hit four 3-pointers en route to scoring 21 points as the Pistons defeated the Hawks 106-94 Tuesday night in the opener for both teams.


The Pistons used defense and a 59-40 rebounding edge to win despite shooting only 38.5 percent.

“We fought hard, defended well, made enough shots to get the win and rebounded the (heck) out of the ball,” Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Our guys were really dialed in.”

The Pistons got off to a 5-23 start last season as they missed the playoffs for a sixth straight year, while the Hawks set a franchise record with 60 regular-season victories and made the Eastern Conference finals.

Van Gundy, also in charge of personnel, retooled his team during the offseason, though, and the results were definitely positive at least for one game.

Forward Marcus Morris scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and forward Ersan Ilyasova added 16 points. Both were making their Pistons debuts.

“We’re trying to build something and do it the right way,” said guard Reggie Jackson, who contributed 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists. “We didn’t shoot the greatest, but we didn’t make many mistakes on defense. The key for us is to be able to lock down on defense.”

The Hawks, who lost only six home games last season, were just 8-for-27 from behind the 3-point arc compared to 12-for-29 by the Pistons and never led after late in the second quarter. Guard Dennis Schroder came off the bench to lead the Hawks with 20 points.

What To Read Next
Get Local


Local Sports and News