CLEVELAND, April 20 – LeBron James scored 40 points to spark the Cleveland Cavaliers past Chicago 112-102, giving the NBA regular-season champions a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.James connected on 16-of-23 shots from the field and scored 15 points in the final eight minutes as the top seed Cavaliers outlasted a determined Bulls’ squad that were level at 77-77 entering the fourth quarter.
"I watched a lot of film from game one," James said. "I knew as soon as I caught it they would back up and I would have an opportunity to take a jump shot and I had to make it."
James also contributed eight rebounds and eight assists for the NBA’s winningest club, which owns a home-field edge throughout the playoffs in quest of the team’s first-ever NBA crown.
"It’s all or nothing for us. We know what the long-term goal is," James said.
The Bulls will try to bounce back in game three at Chicago on Thursday while the Cavaliers focus on trying to finish off the best-of-seven series as quickly as possible.
"The most important game is game three," James said. "That’s what we’re concentrating on."
Jamario Moon sank four 3-point shots to join Mo Williams with 12 points while Antawn Jamison added 14 for the Cavaliers, who fended off late charges by the Bulls thanks to Moon’s long-range accuracy.
"They kept scrapping," James said. "They would not quit. They kept making good plays. Every time they would do that, J-Moon would find himself open and he made some big shots."
Joakim Noah led the Bulls with 25 points and contributed 13 rebounds while Derrick Rose added 23 points and Luol Deng had 20 in a losing cause.