By The Associated Press
CLEVELAND – Carlos Boozer and Richard Hamilton each scored 19 points and the Bulls routed the Cleveland Cavaliers 115-86 on Friday.
Nate Robinson added 16 points and 12 assists for the Bulls, who led the entire game after Boozer hit a jumper 23 seconds in. Chicago made 14 of 19 from the field in the first quarter and led 36-16 with 10:34 remaining in the second.
The Bulls shot 63.8 percent, hitting 44 of 69 shots.
The Cavaliers struggled on both ends of the floor. Kyrie Irving had 15 points but Cleveland shot 32 of 79 from the field (41 percent) and committed 17 turnovers.
Hamilton scored 14 points in the third quarter, and Robinson had 12 in the second.
The Bulls are off to a 2-0 start for the first time since the 2002-03 season despite playing without star point guard Derrick Rose, who isn’t expected to return until the second half of the season because of a knee injury.
Chicago was 18-9 without Rose last season and earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Rose tore the ACL in his left knee in Game 1 of the first round against Philadelphia and the Bulls were eliminated by the 76ers.
The Bulls have won nine straight games over the Cavaliers, who haven’t recorded a win in the series since LeBron James left town after the 2010 season. Chicago has won the last four games by an average margin of 30.2 points. The Cavaliers haven’t defeated the Bulls since March 19, 2010.
Luol Deng added 14 points for the Bulls, who begin a five-game homestand Saturday against New Orleans. Joakim Noah scored 10.
Hamilton, plagued by injuries last season, scored 19 points in Chicago’s season-opening win over Sacramento.
Anderson Varejao, who set career highs with 23 rebounds and nine assists in the opener, scored 12 points for Cleveland, which opens six-game, 11-day road trip Saturday in Milwaukee. Alonzo Gee also scored 12. Rookie guard Dion Waiters, the Cavaliers’ No. 1 draft pick, scored seven points after having 17 in the opener.