NBA: Bulls defeats Cavaliers, Clippers breezes past Pelicans

NBA defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers suffered its third straight defeat in the ongoing season with a 111-105 loss to Chicago Bulls.

Jimmy Butler (left) scored 26 points for Chicago Bulls.   -  AP

The reigning NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers suffered its third straight defeat on Friday, falling 111-105 to Chicago Bulls in Chicago.

Jimmy Butler scored 26 points, Dwyane Wade had 24 and Taj Gibson chipped in 23 for the Bulls. Its starters all reached double figures. Rajon Rondo contributed a triple-double of 15 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds.

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"We found a way to win," Wade said after the Bulls bounced back from a disappointing loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. "We didn't play great tonight, but against a good team that came out and attacked us from the get-go, we found a way to pull it out."

Cavaliers superstar LeBron James scored a game-high 27 and handed out 13 assists. But Cavaliers couldn't bounce back from its embarrassing 113-94 home defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

Close but not enough

That followed an upset loss to the Milwaukee Bucks and while James shrugged off the significance of back-to-back defeats, this third straight loss will spark concern.

Wade beat James on a driving layup to extend Chicago's lead to 107-101 with 2:30 remaining after Cleveland had pulled within three. Wade grabbed an offensive rebound of a Nikola Mirotic three-point attempt to seemingly put the game out of reach.

But Kyrie Irving, who finished with 20 points, scored on back-to-back baskets in the final 20 seconds to draw the Cavaliers to within 109-105 before Butler hit a pair of free throws to cap the win.

Clippers defeats Pelicans

Los Angeles Clippers registered a 114-96 victory over New Orleans Pelicans in its home game on Friday.