CLEVELAND—LeBron James scored 34 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers, using another early season lineup, awakened after a sluggish first half and beat the winless Bulls 119-112 on Tuesday night.Although he often handles the ball and runs Cleveland’s offense, James had not officially been listed as a guard since 2012 with Miami. The superstar added 13 assists, including a no-look, behind-the-back dish to Jae Crowder for a 3-pointer during Cleveland’s 15-3 spurt in the third quarter.The Bulls did all they could. James just did more.
”You’re playing against the best player on the planet,” Fred Hoiberg said.
Kevin Love had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Dwyane Wade, who asked Cavs coach Tyronn Lue to take him out of the starting lineup, came off the bench and added 11 points.Justin Holiday scored 25 and rookie Lauri Markkanen 19 for the Bulls, who made a season-high 17 3-pointers. The 7-foot Markkanen became the first player in NBA history to make 10 3-pointers in his first three career games.Cleveland trailed 92-91 entering the fourth before Love dropped a 3 and Kyle Korver made a pair of 3s in 33 seconds. The Bulls closed within six in the final two minutes, but the Cavs came up with two offensive rebounds to reset the shot clock before James drove past Markkanen for a left-handed layup to make it 118-110.It was vintage James, perhaps the only player in the game who can play either guard spot, both forward positons and center.It’s how he was raised.The Cavs were coming off an embarrassing loss to Orlando and their defense was atrocious in the first half, when the Bulls made 12 3-pointers and scored 65 points – 12 less than in their previous game.