Cavaliers (8-27) at Bulls (8-13)

OPENING TIP

The Cavaliers just cannot beat the Bulls these days. The Cavs have lost 10 straight against their Central Division opponents, and the main reason being that over the past two years (and this one), the Bulls have been a matchup nightmare. Bulls big men Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer are two of the biggest reasons why, with those two offsetting Anderson Varejao. Those two won’t even have to worry about Varejao tonight, as he remains out with a knee contusion. Basically, it could be another long night for the Cavs.

Venue: United Center, Chicago

TV/Radio: 7:30 p.m. FOX Sports Ohio/WTAM

All-Time Series: Bulls lead, 110-79.

STARTING LINEUPS

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (8-27)
C Tyler Zeller
PF Tristan Thompson
SF Alonzo Gee
SG CJ Miles
PG Kyrie Irving

CHICAGO BULLS (18-13)
C Joakim Noah
PF Carlos Boozer
SF Luol Deng
SG Rip Hamilton
PG Kirk Hinrich

Pregame notes:

• The Bulls are an excellent defensive team and have done a nice job containing Irving. That’s especially true of Hinrich, who may defend Irving better than anyone in the league.

• Along with Varejao, Daniel Gibson (concussion) and Luke Walton (personal matter) are out for the Cavs. Hinrich (knee) is listed as day-to-day.

• The Bulls’ 10-straight victories vs. the Cavs is actually their second-longest active streak. They’ve beaten the Pistons 16 straight.

• The teams already met twice this year in Cleveland. The final meeting of the season comes Feb. 26 in Chicago.

• The Bulls have sold out 103 consecutive games at the United Center. They might be hard-pressed to do so again tonight, with Midwestern favorite Notre Dame playing in the college football title game.