Central Illinois gets a taste of the NBA
Bulls fall late to the Cavs 86-83
By Jeff Mayfield
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[October 16, 2012]
CHAMPAIGN-URBANA -- Central Illinois
offered some entertainment Friday night that is not often seen in
these parts. How about an NBA game between the Cleveland Cavaliers
and your Chicago Bulls? Albeit only a preseason contest, it was
still a lot of fun for the fans on hand. At least it was for former
Lincoln resident Payne Mayfield, who loves the NBA more than life
Unfortunately, the Bulls really struggled in this contest, and even
though they made a valiant comeback in the second half, they fell
short 86-83 before 8,678 raucous fans. Chicago allowed almost 60
percent shooting, turned the ball over 22 times and trailed at
It all prompted Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau to
say, "The defense not good, the offense not good, readiness to play
not good, and execution not good."
None of that was helped by the Cavs' sizzling shooting either.
Cleveland was led in scoring by Dion Waiters with 18 points, and
Anderson Varejao added eight points and 10 rebounds. The Bulls did
have four players in double figures but finished the contest
shooting less than 35 percent from the field.
The Bulls did come out of the locker room breathing fire to start
the third quarter on a 15-0 run, but ultimately it wasn't enough to
get the job done. One bright spot was the inspired play of guard
Kirk Hinrich, who tallied 14 points, eight assists and four
rebounds, and Taj Gibson, who finished with 12 points and seven
[to top of second column]
The highlight of the night may have been the shenanigans of the
Bulls' mascot, Benny the Bull. Benny had the crowd up and cheering
even when the Bulls were way behind in the contest. The kids in the
audience seemed to be enjoying Benny's every trick and taunt. They
especially enjoyed him coming out and performing as a break dancer.
They probably would have enjoyed a victory more, but even though
the team didn't play that well, I think the majority of the people
in the crowd seemed to have a very good time.
[By JEFF MAYFIELD]
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