Dallas Mavericks (7-8) at Chicago Bulls (6-7), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - After failing to hold a 27-point lead last time out, the
Chicago Bulls hope to take advantage of a Dallas Mavericks squad that is
playing the second of back-to-back games on Wednesday night.
The Bulls have had some time to digest a 93-92 setback versus Milwaukee on
Monday, their first loss in their last 10 games versus the Bucks. That defeat
came despite Chicago holding a 78-51 advantage with 2:50 remaining in the
Richard Hamilton poured in 30 points, a season high, and Carlos Boozer had 19
along with 11 rebounds for the Bulls, but Chicago shot a woeful 21.1 percent
(4-for-19) in the fourth quarter to squander the sizeable lead.
"I'm stunned just by the simple fact that when you have a 25-point lead and
the way that we defend, you never expect a team to make a run like that," said
Chicago has now lost four of its last five, including the opener of a four-
game homestand, despite excellent play as of late from Boozer. The forward is
averaging 18.0 points and 12.3 rebounds per game over his last six, with five
double-doubles in that span.
Boozer is averaging 17.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in 18 career
meetings with the Mavericks.
Chicago will look to push Dallas tonight after the Mavericks tried to rally
late in a meeting on Tuesday with the Philadelphia 76ers. However, the
comeback attempt fell short in a 100-98 setback.
With the game tied at 81-81, the Sixers reeled off 10 straight points to seize
control. Dallas did cut the deficit to two, but O.J. Mayo missed a pair of
free throws with 2.7 seconds to play and Jae Crowder's desperation shot
following a rebound was off the mark as time expired.
"That was the game," said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle of the Sixers' run. "To say
the least, it was completely out of character the way we played."
Chris Kaman put up 20 points and Shawn Marion finished with a season-high 17
in the loss, Dallas' second straight and seventh in its last 10 outings. Mayo
was held to a season-low 11 points and Darren Collison notched 12 points, six
assists, three rebounds and a career-high five steals while coming off the
bench for the first time this season.
"We're all disappointed but not dismayed," said Carlisle. "It was unfortunate.
I'm steadfast in my belief in these guys."
Dallas' Elton Brand will face a former team for the second consecutive night.
After putting home a season-high 17 points against the 76ers, who released the
veteran forward via the amnesty clause in July, Brand will face a Bulls
franchise that selected him with the top overall pick of the 1999 draft.
He averaged 20.1 points and 10.0 rebounds in 155 games over two seasons with
the Bulls before getting traded to the Los Angeles Clippers on June 27, 2001
for Tyson Chandler and Brian Skinner.
The Mavericks have lost their last three games versus the Bulls, including a
93-83 setback in Chicago in the lone meeting a season ago, and haven't scored
more than 83 points in any of those meetings.
Dallas has had more long-term success in this series, winning 21 of the past
27 meetings overall and nine of the last 13 in Chicago, where it tries to
avoid a third straight setback.
11/28 10:42:05 ET
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