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November 7, 2009

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Bulls gore Cavaliers in Cleveland

DERRICK Rose scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter and drilled a decisive jumper with 1:44 remaining to help the Chicago Bulls beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 86-85 on Thursday.

Last season's Rookie of the Year, Rose added 11 assists as the Bulls (3-2) held off the Cavaliers with an inspired defensive effort in Cleveland, Ohio.

"It's huge," Rose told reporters. "Our chemistry on offense really isn't there yet. But you have time for that -- if you can continue to stop people you'll be fine.".

League MVP LeBron James scored 25 points for the Cavaliers, but lost the ball while driving to the basket for a potential game-winning shot in the final seconds.

The Cavaliers (3-3), who had a 40-2 regular-season record at home last season, have lost twice already this season in Cleveland, the first to the Boston Celtics in the season-opener.

In the day's only other National Basketball Association game, the Utah Jazz swamped the San Antonio Spurs 113-99.

In a tightly-contested game, the Cavaliers had possession as they trailed by a point with four seconds to go but James drove to his left and the ball slipped out of his hands as he prepared to shoot.

James, who finished with seven rebounds and six assists, wanted a foul called on the play but did not get the whistle. "I felt a push and some contact up top," James said. "Enough to put me on the free throw line? Yes, but it is a judgement call from the refs, and he saw what he saw."

The Bulls took the lead for good when Taj Gibson made a jumper to give the road team a 76-74 advantage with 7:03 remaining.

With his team trailing 82-86, James knocked down a three-pointer to pull Cleveland within one point with 1:32 left but neither team would score again.

Luol Deng led the way for Chicago with 15 points and John Salmons added 14. Deng also added seven rebounds and has played well this year after missing the final 22 games of last season because of a leg injury.

The Cavaliers have had an indifferent start to the year while integrating new additions to the team, including giant center Shaquille O'Neal, who finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks.

Anderson Varejao added 12 and 13 boards for the Cavaliers, who shot just 40 percent from the field.

At Salt Lake City, Utah, Carlos Boozer ended his slump with 27 points and 14 rebounds as Utah beat San Antonio to snap a two-game losing skid.

Deron Williams also scored 27 and had nine assists in Utah's first win over San Antonio since April 2008. Andrei Kirilenko added 12 points and six assists and rookie Wesley Matthews scored a career-high 12 points for Utah, which improved to 2-3.

Tim Duncan had 15 points and 13 rebounds and Tony Parker scored 21 points, but just four in the second half.


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