Nikola Mirotic tied season highs with 28 points and six three-pointers and Jimmy Butler scored 25 as the Chicago Bulls beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 99-93 on a night when LeBron James moved into seventh place on the NBA’s career scoring list.
James moved past Shaquille O’Neal, finishing with 26 points and giving him 28,599 for his career — three more than O’Neal.
However, the big night by the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player could not prevent the Cavaliers from matching a season high with their third straight loss.
That dropped them a half-game behind Boston for the Eastern Conference lead and left them with a 6-10 record for last month.
For Mirotic, it was his second straight game with 28 points and six treys. He also had 10 rebounds, finishing a strong month.
Rajon Rondo added 15 assists and Robin Lopez had 10 points and 11 rebounds as the ninth-place Bulls moved within a game of Miami and Indiana in the Eastern Conference standings.
They also finished 4-0 against Cleveland to complete their first sweep of the Cavaliers since they took all three games during the 2011-2012 season.
In other results, it was:
‧ Timberwolves 119, Lakers 104
‧ Clippers 124, Suns 118
‧ Pistons 90, Nets 89
‧ Trail Blazers 117, Rockets 107
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