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LeBron James, Cavaliers look for five straight vs. Bulls

Nov 9, 2006 - 1:40 PM Chicago (2-2) at Cleveland (2-2) 8:00 pm EST

CLEVELAND (Ticker) - LeBron James will have something to prove when the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Chicago Bulls on Thursday.

James will be trying to shake off a poor effort down the stretch in a 104-95 overtime loss to Atlanta on Tuesday. He made only 5-of-11 free throws and the Cavaliers went 8-of-18 from the line in the fourth quarter and extra session while blowing a 10-point lead.

To make matters worse, the 21-year-old superstar walked off the floor with time remaining on the clock in the waning moments of the loss. James has taken some criticism for leaving his teammates on the floor as the final seconds ticked away.

The 6-8, 240-pound All-Star had his way against the Bulls last season, averaging 34.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists to lead the Cavaliers to a four-game regular-season sweep. Only one of those games was decided by fewer than eight points.

However, Chicago now has center Ben Wallace - a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year - to clog the middle of the lane.

Losers of two straight, the Cavs have shot just 37 percent from the field in their past two games after shooting 46 percent during their 2-0 start.

Chicago evened its record with a 110-85 win vs. the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday. Ben Gordon, who shot less than 37 percent and was held to 14.3 points per game last season against the Cavaliers, burned the Bucks for 37 points.

Chicago is in the middle of a stretch of three straight games against Central Division foes. After visiting Cleveland, the Bulls host Indiana on Saturday.

The Bulls have lost 15 of 18 in Cleveland, including the last five by an average of 17 points.

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