A new low? Struggling Bulls lose to lowly Cavs 104-101 at the UC

SHARE A new low? Struggling Bulls lose to lowly Cavs 104-101 at the UC
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Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) scores two of his 17 points against the Cavaliers on Sunday. The Bulls lost, 104-101 at the United Center. | Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It doesn’t look like coach Jim Boylen has a breaking point.

He remained unfazed by arguably the Bulls’ low point of a dark season — a 104-101 loss Sunday to the Cavaliers at the United Center. The Cavs (10-41) came into the game with 18 losses in their previous 19 games and had won one game since Dec. 18.

Frustrating? Embarrassing? Discouraging?

None of the above.

“You’re always disappointed when you don’t win; I’m not discouraged by how these guys played,” Boylen said. “Do we need to play better? Of course. Do we need to make more plays? Of course.”

The Bulls (11-39) have dropped 13 of their last 14 games, including a loss to the Hawks (15-33) by 20 at home Wednesday.

“This is a process, and I don’t mean that cavalierly,” Boylen said, no pun likely intended. “This is learning how to win, learning how to grow, learning how to play together. We missed a play at the rim to win the game. We’ll focus on hopefully next time making that play at the rim.”

The Bulls rallied from an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter to take a 101-100 lead with 1:07 left on a three-point shot by Wayne Selden Jr.

They had the lead and the ball after a Cedi Osman miss, but Robin Lopez missed a hook shot. Lopez blocked Rodney Hood’s shot with 17.6 seconds left. But the ball went to Alec Burks, who made a 10-footer to give the Cavs the lead with 17 seconds left.

Kris Dunn (six points, 2-for-8 shooting) drove the lane but missed under pressure. After Matthew Dellavedova made two free throws, the Bulls had a chance to tie in the final 4.7 seconds. But Zach LaVine (17 points, 6-for-17 shooting, 12 rebounds) missed a pull-up three-pointer.

On the Markk

Lauri Markkanen led the Bulls with 21 points and 15 rebounds. But he took only one shot from the field in the last seven minutes. Markkanen made 4 of 7 three-pointers.

It was his seventh consecutive game with three or more — a franchise record.

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“We’ve said it time and time again — obviously, it’s frustrating,” Markkanen said. “We’ve just got to keep our head up. That’s the beauty of the game — we have the next game [on the road against the Nets on Tuesday] in two days. Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. It’s up to us. We’re going to show up to work and do our job and try to get better.”

Bright spot

Selden, acquired in the trade that sent Justin Holiday to the Grizzlies, scored 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting — including 3-for-4 from three-point range — in his first start in place of injured forward Chandler Hutchison.

“He came ready to play,” Boylen said. “I love it when a guy gets a start and he jumps into that role full force.”

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