CLEVELAND — (AP) Collin Sexton scored 30 points and Darius Garland added 25 as the Cleveland Cavaliers never trailed in a 121-105 win over the Chicago Bulls, snapping a five-game home losing streak.
It was a crucial victory for the Cavs (21-37), who had been slipping in the race for the last spot in the Eastern Conference's play-in tournament. They stormed out of the gate with a 34-12 first-quarter advantage and never looked back from there.
Lauri Markkanen scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and Thaddeus Young had 14 points and eight rebounds for Chicago (24-34). The Bulls shot an impressive 49.4% from the field, but the Cavs shot 51.1%, including 44.4% from the field.
Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff was not at the game for personal reasons, but is expected to return to the bench Friday. Assistant coach Greg Buckner filled in for his longtime friend and colleague.
The loss bumped the Bulls out of the East's 10th seed in favor of the Washington Wizards, who currently sit a half-game ahead of the No. 11 Toronto Raptors and four games in front of the 13th-seeded Cavaliers. Cleveland will attempt to further chip into that deficit Friday night when they face the Charlotte Hornets on the road.
More sports headlines: