James hits jumper at buzzer, lifts Cavaliers over Bulls
CHICAGO (AP) — LeBron James hit a jumper from the corner at the buzzer to give the Cleveland Cavaliers an 86-84 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, tying the Eastern Conference semifinal series at 2-2.
James finished with 25 points to help the Cavaliers win in another wild finish, returning the favor after Chicago took Game 3 on Derrick Rose’s banked 3-pointer at the buzzer.
This time, James got whistled for an offensive foul when he elbowed Mike Dunleavy Jr. That led to a tying layup for Rose with just under 10 seconds left.
But instead of going to overtime, James ended it with the jumper from the corner over Jimmy Butler.
Game 5 is Tuesday night in Cleveland.
James committed eight turnovers and struggled again from the field, hitting 10 of 30 shots. He is 18 of 55 the past two games. But he also had 14 rebounds and eight assists.
Kyrie Irving, playing with a sore foot, was 2 of 12 and had 12 points and two assists.
Timofey Mozgov had 15 points and nine rebounds. J.R. Smith came on strong down the stretch, scoring all but two of his 13 in the fourth quarter.
Rose scored 31 points and Jimmy Butler added 19 for Chicago, which was playing without Pau Gasol. He sat out with a strained left hamstring, and his status for Game 5 is in question.
Rose hit two free throws with 1:32 remaining to make it 82-79, but he missed a 3 with about a minute remaining after Joakim Noah took a charge against James.
Cleveland’s superstar then hit two free throws to make it a five-point game.
Butler buried a 3 with 27 seconds left to cut it to 84-82.
The Cavaliers called a timeout with 21.2 seconds left and burned two more timeouts trying to inbound it. They finally got the ball to James, who then got whistled for elbowing Dunleavy.
Rose drove for a tying layup with 9.4 seconds left.
James had a layup blocked, but he made a fadeaway jumper off a feed from Matthew Dellavedova with Butler closing in on him.
Cavaliers: Even though the Cavaliers didn’t practice Saturday, coach David Blatt wanted to keep his players loose. So they went through a yoga session. "It was simply a matter of wanting to keep the guys off their feet and at the same time to activate them and stretch them and work their muscles in a rehabilitative manner," Blatt said. "We weren’t going in the gym yesterday anyway. It was a good thing for us to do."
Bulls: Taj Gibson started for Gasol and finished with six points and eight rebounds.