Anyone who came to the United Center Wednesday night looking to see the amazing artistry of LeBron James witnessed something just as rarea dominant Bulls performance.
Riding the intensity of Tyson Chandler, the re-emergence of Kirk Hinrich and solid bench scoring led by Ben Gordon, the Bulls cruised to a 113-85 victory over Cleveland, which entered with the Eastern Conference's best record and a three-game winning streak.
"We should be able to play like this every game," Chandler said after his 15-point, nine-rebound effort, one rebound shy of his fourth double-double in five games.
That's an argument for another day, but for one night, they produced the number of highlights that are typically reserved for James.
Gordon led the Bulls with 21 points, including a spectacular alley-oop dunk over Aleksandar Pavlovic on a pass from Frank Williams with the game well decided.
"I fed off my teammates," Gordon said.
Despite playing just 23 minutes because of foul trouble, Eddy Curry added 20 points and nine rebounds.
The Bulls, who entered 26th in free-throw shooting, even connected on those at an 87.2 percent clip, making 34 of 39.
Everything added up to the Bulls' first victory against an Eastern Conference team in six tries and their largest margin of victory since Dec. 4, 2001, against Houston.
"Start to finish, that's our best game of the season," coach Scott Skiles said.
Hinrich had 15 points and eight rebounds and combined with Curry for 15 points in a game-opening 19-9 run, establishing the tone early in a game the Bulls never trailed.
Chandler, Gordon and Andres Nocioni led a bench performance that outscored Cleveland's reserves 58-26. Nocioni scored 15 points and drained the three-pointer that pushed the Bulls above 100 points and gave the fans free Big Macs.
"We need confidence," Nocioni said.
"This can provide it."
Cleveland played without forward Robert "Tractor" Traylor, who broke his left pinky finger in Tuesday's victory over New Jersey.
James made his share of spectacular plays, perhaps the most jaw-dropping a spectacular block of what appeared to be a Hinrich breakaway layup at the third-quarter buzzer.
But if a 19-point, six-assist night can be considered quiet, count this one as such.
Luol Deng, burned by James in a 26-point, seven-rebound, seven-assist Cavaliers victory 11 days ago, played solid position defense and the Bulls' big men plugged the paint. At one point, James went without a field goal for 26 minutes 27 seconds after scoring 11 quick first-quarter points.
"I thought I did a better job," Deng said.
James came to Chicago averaging 25.2 points per game and enough compliments from around the league to last a career.
"I'm just doing my job, and if that means it's a bright spot in the NBA, or if people say I'm the face of the NBA, I don't have a problem with that," James said. "I'm just being myself."
The game marked Skiles' 82nd as Bulls coach. His record in Chicago after what amounts to a full season is 22-60.
Few games have been as stress-free as this one.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times