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LeBron gets 33 points in triple-double, Cavs beat Bulls

CHICAGO (AP) As he exited the court, LeBron James brought a young fan to tears.

The Cavaliers' superstar made the boy's night by tossing him his sweat-soaked arm sleeve on the way to the locker room. As for the Bulls? All he gave them was more misery.

James scored 33 points as part of a triple-double, Jordan Clarkson had a tiebreaking four-point play with 1:27 left and Cleveland beat Chicago 114-109 on Saturday night.

James had 12 rebounds and 12 assists for his 15th triple-double of the season. He passed to Clarkson on the four-point play and had another big exchange with that boy when he exited the court.

''Sometimes, the eyes do all the talking,'' James said. ''I'm just trying to be an inspiration to them and leave an impression, other than of me playing basketball.''

Jeff Green added 21 points, and Clarkson scored 19 to help the Cavaliers salvage a split on their season-high six-game trip.

Denzel Valentine scored a career-best 34 points to lead Chicago, hitting 8 of 11 from long range, and Bobby Portis added 15 points and a season-high 15 rebounds. The Bulls wiped out a 17-point halftime deficit even though they held out banged-up core players Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn, only to come up short in the closing minutes.

''It shows we have a great young core, no matter who's out there,'' Valentine said. ''KD, Lauri and Zach were hurt so we've got to pick it up. Guys played hard and we fought to the end. Best player on the planet just put the team on his back and got a win.''

CLOSE CALL

Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue spent the second half in the locker room with an illness, another hit for an already short-handed team. It was the second time this season Lue left a game because he wasn't feeling well, and he also sat one out against Chicago at home in December. Associate head coach Larry Drew filled in for him in the second half.

The Cavaliers let a 69-52 halftime lead shrink to four heading into the fourth quarter. They got it back up to 11, only to have the Bulls tie it at 99 on Valentine's 3 from atop the key with 4:13 remaining.

James made a fadeaway shot and hit a jumper after Portis got blocked down low. James then fed Green for an alley-oop to put Cleveland back on top 105-99 with just over three minutes left.

The Bulls tied it again on 3-pointers by Paul Zipser and Cameron Payne. But Clarkson converted a four-point play after getting fouled by Valentine in the corner, and James hit a pull-up jumper to make it 111-105 with 39 seconds remaining.

LOYOLA CONNECTION

Though he played at Michigan State, Valentine has a keen interest in what Loyola-Chicago is accomplishing in the NCAA Tournament. That's because his brother Drew is an assistant for the Ramblers.

Loyola-Chicago beat Tennessee to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1985. The Ramblers had not played in the tournament since a loss to Patrick Ewing and Georgetown that year.

''We didn't know it was going to happen this way, he was going to be coaching and I was going to be playing for the Bulls,'' Denzel Valentine said. ''We saw greatness in our future. We just work extremely hard in whatever we're doing. We try to do the right thing and have faith in everything.''

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: The Cavaliers completed their first four-game sweep against Chicago since 2005-06. ... Lue wouldn't say if the Cavaliers are targeting a specific game next week for Kevin Love's return from a broken left hand. They host Milwaukee, Toronto and Phoenix. Love hasn't played since Jan. 30.

Bulls: Markkanen (lower back spasms) missed his third straight, though coach Fred Hoiberg said he is ''significantly better.'' LaVine's surgically repaired left knee was sore, and Dunn developed a toe problem in Thursday's game against Memphis. Those three have made just 12 starts together since the blockbuster trade for Jimmy Butler with Minnesota on draft night. ''I'm confident we'll get everything (chemistry-wise) in the offseason right with those three guys,'' Hoiberg said. ''I'm really excited about that opportunity this offseason. Hopefully to get those guys ready and get a step ahead going into training camp.'' ... C Robin Lopez was inactive.

UP NEXT

Cavaliers: Host Milwaukee on Monday.

Bulls: Visit New York on Monday.

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Key Players
L. James
23 SF
Z. LaVine
8 PG
27.3 Min. Per Game 27.3
16.7 Pts. Per Game 16.7
3.0 Ast. Per Game 3.0
4.0 Reb. Per Game 4.0
54.5 Field Goal % 38.3
54.2 Three Point % 38.3
72.2 Free Throw % 81.3
  Defensive rebound by LeBron James 0:05
  Paul Zipser missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:07
  Defensive rebound by Bobby Portis 0:11
  George Hill missed 2nd of 2 free throws 0:11
+ 1 George Hill made 1st of 2 free throws 0:11
  Personal foul on Denzel Valentine 0:11
+ 2 Denzel Valentine made driving layup 0:13
+ 1 George Hill made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:25
+ 1 George Hill made 1st of 2 free throws 0:25
  Personal foul on Paul Zipser 0:25
+ 2 Antonio Blakeney made dunk, assist by Cameron Payne 0:26
Team Stats
Points 114 109
Field Goals 44-87 (50.6%) 41-91 (45.1%)
3-Pointers 13-37 (35.1%) 16-35 (45.7%)
Free Throws 13-20 (65.0%) 11-15 (73.3%)
Total Rebounds 49 55
Offensive 11 11
Defensive 33 34
Team 5 10
Assists 25 30
Steals 4 4
Blocks 5 3
Turnovers 13 12
Fouls 14 21
Technicals 0 2
33 PTS, 12 REB, 12 AST
34 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST
1234T
away team logo Cavaliers 40-29 32371629114
home team logo Bulls 24-45 31212928109
Team Stats
away team logo Cavaliers 40-29 103.4 PPG 43.9 RPG 19.9 APG
home team logo Bulls 24-45 101.2 PPG 41.3 RPG 21.5 APG
Key Players
L. James SF PPG RPG APG FG%
D. Valentine SF PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
L. James SF 33 PTS 12 REB 12 AST
D. Valentine SF 34 PTS 7 REB 6 AST
50.6 FG% 45.1
35.1 3PT FG% 45.7
65.0 FT% 73.3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
L. James 39 33 12 12 1 2 6 3 15/26 2/8 1/4 1 11 66 -4
J. Green 42 21 4 2 1 1 1 2 8/14 2/6 3/5 0 4 30 -4
A. Zizic 20 14 6 0 0 1 2 2 7/9 0/0 0/1 4 2 19 -6
J. Calderon 36 9 7 6 0 1 0 0 3/6 2/3 1/1 1 6 29 +6
G. Hill 32 8 7 2 1 0 1 1 2/7 1/4 3/4 3 4 19 +14
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
L. James 39 33 12 12 1 2 6 3 15/26 2/8 1/4 1 11 66 -4
J. Green 42 21 4 2 1 1 1 2 8/14 2/6 3/5 0 4 30 -4
A. Zizic 20 14 6 0 0 1 2 2 7/9 0/0 0/1 4 2 19 -6
J. Calderon 36 9 7 6 0 1 0 0 3/6 2/3 1/1 1 6 29 +6
G. Hill 32 8 7 2 1 0 1 1 2/7 1/4 3/4 3 4 19 +14
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Clarkson 31 19 2 0 0 0 0 1 6/13 4/9 3/3 2 0 21 +1
J. Holland 10 5 1 0 0 0 0 1 2/5 1/4 0/0 0 1 6 +15
J. Smith 21 5 5 1 1 0 2 3 1/7 1/3 2/2 0 5 11 +3
L. Perrantes 4 0 0 2 0 0 1 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 3 0
T. Thompson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Love - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Thornton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Nance Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Hood - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Osman - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Korver - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 114 44 25 4 5 13 14 44/87 13/37 13/20 11 33 204 +25
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Valentine 38 34 7 6 0 1 0 3 13/20 8/11 0/0 1 6 54 +14
C. Payne 31 13 2 10 0 0 3 2 5/11 3/6 0/0 1 1 32 -2
P. Zipser 23 11 4 2 0 2 0 5 4/9 3/5 0/0 0 4 21 +9
C. Felicio 30 10 10 2 1 0 3 2 4/7 0/0 2/2 1 9 22 -13
J. Holiday 17 5 2 3 2 0 2 2 2/6 0/3 1/1 1 1 13 +3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Valentine 38 34 7 6 0 1 0 3 13/20 8/11 0/0 1 6 54 +14
C. Payne 31 13 2 10 0 0 3 2 5/11 3/6 0/0 1 1 32 -2
P. Zipser 23 11 4 2 0 2 0 5 4/9 3/5 0/0 0 4 21 +9
C. Felicio 30 10 10 2 1 0 3 2 4/7 0/0 2/2 1 9 22 -13
J. Holiday 17 5 2 3 2 0 2 2 2/6 0/3 1/1 1 1 13 +3
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
B. Portis 34 15 15 2 0 0 2 4 7/15 1/2 0/0 4 11 32 -10
A. Blakeney 27 10 1 3 1 0 0 1 4/14 1/6 1/2 0 1 18 -12
J. Grant 16 6 0 1 0 0 0 1 0/3 0/2 6/8 0 0 8 -3
D. Nwaba 19 5 4 1 0 0 2 1 2/6 0/0 1/2 3 1 9 -11
O. Asik - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Lopez - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Dunn - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. LaVine - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Vonleh - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Eddie - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Arcidiacono - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Markkanen - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 109 45 30 4 3 12 21 41/91 16/35 11/15 11 34 209 -25