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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, January 20th (All times eastern)

Dallas Mavericks (27-14) at Chicago Bulls (28-14), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Chicago Bulls hope to bounce back from their first home loss in a month when they play host to the Dallas Mavericks at the United Center.

D.J. Augustin led a balanced Charlotte attack with 15 points and five assists on Tuesday, as the Bobcats topped the Carlos Boozer-less Bulls, 83-82, at the United Center.

Derrick Rose led Chicago with a game-high 33 points while Ronnie Brewer added 12 points in a reserve role and Luol Deng contributed 10 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls, who lost for the first time on their home floor since Dec. 18, a 100-99 setback against the LA Clippers.

"The way we played tonight is really not the way we're supposed to play," said Rose. "We didn't have enough energy towards the end of the game."

Boozer missed his second straight game against Charlotte with a sprained left ankle and is likely to sit again tonight. Meanwhile, center Joakim Noah remains sidelined with a thumb injury.

The Mavericks snapped a season-long six-game skid with a huge win over the two-time defending champion Lakers on Wednesday. Shawn Marion and Jason Terry both supplied 22 points off the bench in that one as Dallas earned a 109-100 over the champs in Big D.

Jason Kidd scored 13 of his season-high 21 points during a game-altering third quarter and dished out 10 assists for Dallas, which hadn't won since January 4 against Portland. In his third game back since returning form a sprained right knee, Dirk Nowitzki totaled 14 points and eight rebounds for Dallas.

"Guys got after it on both ends of the floor and played hard and it just happened to be against the world champions," Terry said.

The Mavericks were once 24-5 and just 1 1/2 games behind the Southwest Division-leading Spurs when Nowitzki went down with his injury against Oklahoma City on Dec. 27. Since then Dallas has gone just 3-9 and now trails San Antonio by 8 1/2 games.

Dallas, which is 12-6 on the road this season, has dropped four straight overall away from home but has won nine of its last 11 trips to the Windy City.

The Bulls, however, snapped a three-game skid to the Mavs with a 88-83 triumph in north Texas back on Nov. 19.

01/20 10:53:47 ET


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