NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, January 18th (All times eastern)
Charlotte Bobcats (15-24) at Chicago Bulls (28-13), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The streaking Chicago Bulls search for their 9th straight home win tonight when they play host to the Charlotte Bobcats at the United Center.
The Bulls have been dominant on their home floor this season, winning 13 of 14 and compiling a stellar 18-3 mark overall. A win tonight would give Chicago its longest run in the Second City since Michael Jordan and Company took 10 consecutive from Feb. 28-April 7, 1998.
Most recently the Central Division-leading Bulls won their third straight contest in Memphis on Martin Luther King Jr. Day despite being without the services of star forward Carlos Boozer (sprained left ankle). Derrick Rose recorded his first career triple- double with 22 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in that one as Chicago handled the Grizzlies, 96-84.
It was also the first triple-double for a Chicago player since Kirk Hinrich did it on Dec. 14, 2007.
Luol Deng and Kyle Korver added 28 and 22 points, respectively, for the Bulls, who have won five of six overall. Deng and Korver combined to go 9-of-17 from beyond the arc.
Taj Gibson chipped in with 10 points, seven boards and six blocks for Chicago, while Kurt Thomas donated nine points and six rebounds for the victors.
"It was a really big game for us," Korver said. "That first quarter was really important. I thought we did a good job of setting the tone on the defensive end."
Boozer is listed as day to day but will probably sit again tonight.
The Bobcats, meanwhile, lost the opener of a brief two-game road trip in Philadelphia on Monday when Lou Williams finished with 23 points, including a three-pointer to send the game into overtime, as the 76ers outlasted Charlotte, 96-92.
Boris Diaw finished with his sixth career triple-double scoring 25 while grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out 11 assists for Charlotte, which has dropped three straight overall.
Kwame Brown and Stephen Jackson both scored 15 and Brown grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds in defeat for Charlotte, which played without former Bull Tyrus Thomas, who was suspended one game for a flagrant foul committed on New Orleans' Emeka Okafor this past Saturday.
"We expected to win," Brown said. "We know we've got to chase balls off the three-point shot but we had a mental lapse and we didn't win."
Thomas, who spent his first three-plus seasons in Chicago before being traded midway through the 2009-10 season, is expected back tonight.
The Bobcats are a dismal 2-9 all-time in the Windy City and have dropped their last three visits to the United Center, Charlotte did, however, top the Bulls in the Queen City on Jan, 12.
01/18 10:37:13 ET