Cavaliers Eliminate Bulls In Game 6, Advance To Eastern Conference Finals

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CHICAGO — LeBron James struggled to score 15 points, Kyrie Irving limped off the court and the Cleveland Cavaliers still beat the Chicago Bulls 94-73 on Thursday night to clinch their Eastern Conference semifinal series in six games.

Matthew Dellavedova scored 19 points and Tristan Thompson added 13 points and 17 rebounds to help the Cavaliers advance to the conference final for the first time since 2009 even though their superstar played like a mere mortal and their All-Star point guard hobbled to the locker room in the first half.

Despite all that, Cleveland is right where it expected to be after James decided to come home from Miami and return to his first team. The Cavaliers didn’t expect to get there like this, though — with Kevin Love suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in the opening round and Irving trying to gut through problems with both legs.

Irving scored six points in 12 minutes before he came down on Thompson’s foot early in the second quarter with the score 35-35 and did not return.

James had 11 assists and nine rebounds but hardly looked like the superhuman that carried Cleveland in Game 5 with 38 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, three steals and three blocks. He shot 7 of 23 from the field and missed all four 3-point attempts in this game.

But the Cavaliers had more than enough to get by, setting up a matchup with the Atlanta Hawks or Washington Wizards. It is James’ fifth straight conference finals, the previous four coming with the Miami Heat.

Jimmy Butler led Chicago with 20 points and Derrick Rose finished with 14. Pau Gasol scored all of his eight points in the first quarter after missing the previous two games with a strained left hamstring, and the Bulls simply got overmatched in what could be their final game under coach Tom Thibodeau.

Thumbnail photo via David Richard/USA TODAY Sports Images

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