BOSTON – Boston Celtics forward Al Jefferson was released from the hospital Thursday night, one day after having his appendix removed, the team announced.

Jefferson, 21, was resting at home, said team spokesman Jeff Twiss.

He said there was no immediate timetable for Jefferson’s return to play.

“We’ll let him rest and take it from there,” Twiss said.

Jefferson was taken to New England Baptist Hospital in Boston after feeling ill Wednesday morning and had surgery there in the afternoon.

In three games this season, Jefferson is averaging 11.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in 26.7 minutes per game. He recorded his first double-double of the season, scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, against the Detroit Pistons on Nov. 3.

Cavaliers 113, Bulls 94

CLEVELAND – LeBron James scored 19 points with a season-high 12 assists to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Chicago Bulls 113-94.

Drew Gooden added 20 points in three quarters, Anderson Varejao had a career-high 15 and Sasha Pavlovic 16 points in a season-high 25 minutes for the Cavaliers, whose bench went 21-of-30 from the field.

and helped Cleveland bounce back from an overtime loss on Tuesday to the Atlanta Hawks.

Following that game, James took some heat for walking off the court while there was still about 10 seconds left on the clock. The Cavaliers were down by nine points at that point, but that didn’t seem to matter to critics who felt James should have played hard until the final horn.

Against the Bulls, James took a leisurely walk to Cleveland’s bench with 5:12 left. By then, the Cavs had built a 24-point lead and coach Mike Brown decided to give rookie Shannon Brown some playing time.

Cleveland recorded 38 assists – 23 after halftime – and the NBA’s best rebounding team outboarded Chicago 47-30.

Kirk Hinrich had 20 points and 11 assists and Andre Nocioni 15 for Chicago, which trailed by only 12 entering the fourth.

But Cleveland opened the final period with an 11-2 run and pushed its lead to 20 when Pavlovic drained a 3-pointer with 7:17 left. Pavlovic, who had played just eight minutes all season, later fed Varejao underneath for a dunk and the forward’s free throw put the Cavs ahead 103-79.

Leading by 13 at half, the Cavaliers made 8-of-12 field goal attempts to start the third and opened 69-53 lead when Larry Hughes knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Gooden scored 12 points – 8 on jump shots – in the period, helping Cleveland take an 80-68 lead into the final 12 minutes.

Coming off an inexcusable overtime loss to the Hawks, in which they missed 10 free throws in the fourth quarter and OT, the Cavaliers started strong and built a 12-point lead by the end of the first quarter.

Then, with a lineup of Pavlovic, Donyell Marshall, Eric Snow, Gooden and James – a group that hadn’t played together all season – Cleveland extended its lead to 18 points before the Bulls pulled within 52-39 at halftime.

Notes: The Bulls have lost five straight to Cleveland. … Hall of Famer Cheryl Miller, perhaps the greatest women’s player in history, said the uproar about James’ perceived walk-off was absurd. “It’s ridiculous,” said Miller, a sideline reporter for TNT. “You don’t put ‘quit’ and LeBron in the same sentence.” … Cavs F Donyell Marshall, who went over the 10,000-point plateau on Tuesday, joined Clifford Robinson, Sam Perkins and Scottie Pippen as the only NBA players to get at least 10,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, 750 3-pointers and 750 blocks. Marshall is in his 13th season. The other three played 17 seasons apiece.

AP-ES-11-09-06 2242EST

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