NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, December 6th (All times eastern)
Oklahoma City Thunder (14-7) at Chicago Bulls (10-8), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Chicago Bulls hope to finish a brief two-game homestand in perfect fashion when they host the talented Oklahoma City Thunder at the United Center.
The Bulls won the opener of the residency on Saturday when Derrick Rose tied the game at the end of regulation with a three-pointer and made the go-ahead layup late in overtime, as Chicago outlasted the Houston Rockets, 119-116.
Rose finished with 30 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds and five steals for the Bulls, who have won five straight against Houston. Carlos Boozer, playing in just his third game of the season after returning from a broken right hand, tallied 25 points and nine boards.
Luol Deng donated 15 points for Chicago, which snapped a brief two-game skid and is now 6-2 in the Windy City. Joakim Noah chipped in with 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Kyle Korver added 13 points for the victors.
"Derrick Rose was terrific," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. "In the first half, he set the tone with his defense. He really competed hard. I liked our defense in the first half. In the second half, our fouling and not enough ball pressure hurt us. In the end we did what we had to do. Our pick and roll defense is something we have to work on and clean up."
The Thunder, who are opening up a three-game road trip tonight, got back on the winning track Sunday when Kevin Durant returned from a two-game absence and scored 28 points as Oklahoma City fought off a late Golden State charge in a 114-109 victory.
Durant, who was nursing a knee injury, made 11-of-12 from the line and added seven rebounds, and Russell Westbrook registered 19 points and 13 assists for the Thunder, who nearly blew a 21-point fourth-quarter lead but held on to win for the third time in four games.
Oklahoma City was coming off a 12-point loss to Toronto on Friday -- its first setback in the four games it's played without Durant this season.
"Coming back after a loss, it's always good to play with the energy it takes to win in this league and we did that," said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks.
The Thunder, who are an impressive 7-3 as the visitor on the year, will also face Minnesota and New Orleans on their current trek.
Oklahoma City has won two of its past three meetings versus the Bulls, including a 106-94 win in Oklahoma City back on Oct. 27.
12/06 10:34:08 ET