|Date of game: 4/26/2012
Recap: Chicago vs. Cleveland
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - John Lucas had a career-high-tying 25 points, Joakim Noah scored 13 with 12 rebounds and the Chicago Bulls secured home- court advantage throughout the upcoming playoffs with a 107-75 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at the United Center.
Richard Hamilton, Taj Gibson and Mike James each contributed 10 points for the Bulls (50-16), who wrapped up the league's top overall seed for the second consecutive year and will face Philadelphia in the opening round of the postseason. The series will begin Saturday.
"We still have a long way to go," said Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau. "This is what you play for, to try to build all the right habits and give yourself the best chance possible to win in the playoffs. We are looking for the next challenge."
Chicago played without Derrick Rose, the reigning NBA MVP, Luol Deng and Kyle Korver in its regular-season finale.
Tristan Thompson posted a double-double of 13 points and 12 boards for Cleveland (21-45), which got 12 points apiece from Antawn Jamison, Donald Sloan and Luke Harangody.
"The season is over. We'll get some good rest over the next few weeks," said Cleveland head coach Byron Scott. "It was a tough year, but I'm impressed with a lot of positive we have and I'm excited about the future."
Rookie of the Year candidate Kyrie Irving sat out the Cavs' season finale. He played only 10 minutes in Wednesday's home finale against Washington after missing the morning shootaround with a stomach flu.
The Bulls emerged from the first quarter with a slim 26-25 lead, and went up for the first time by double-digits at 47-37 on a James driving layup with under four minutes remaining in the second quarter. Lucas hit a running bank shot for a 58-45 halftime lead.
Cleveland was outscored by five in the third quarter and by 14 over the last 12 minutes as the game became a rout.Game Notes
Chicago won all three meetings with Cleveland this season by an average of 31 points...The Cavaliers have lost eight straight to the Bulls overall.