CHICAGO, Illinois -- The first game was hardly easy, but Fred Hoiberg and his Chicago Bulls beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in a tightly-contested matchup on Tuesday night.
The Bulls led most of the way, but in the final moments Cleveland's Kevin Love hit back-to-back threes to bring the score within two. As James drove with under 10 seconds remaining in an attempt to tie the game, Chicago's Pau Gasol was able to make a monster block on his lay up try. Jimmy Butler stole the ensuing inbounds pass with 3.6 seconds left to complete the 97-95 win.
"The last two plays down the stretch I was very pleased, the ones before that not so much,” Hoiberg said after the game. “But I was really happy with how we came out of the gate with a defensive mindset, holding them under 40 percent in the first half and I think right at 40 percent for the game.”
On a night when President Obama was in the house at the United Center, the former Iowa State head coach's team pulled off a thrilling victory over the rival Cavaliers in their season opener.
Nikola Mirotic finished with 19 points and nine rebounds, Derrick Rose had 18 points and five assists, and Jimmy Butler posted 17 points and five rebounds. James finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
The Bulls are back at it Wednesday night, when they take on the Brooklyn Nets on the road.