NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 16th (All times eastern)
Chicago Bulls (32-29) at New Jersey Nets (28-36), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Chicago Bulls will attempt to halt a two-game losing streak this evening, when they take on the New Jersey Nets at Continental Airlines Arena.
Chicago dropped a 99-93 decision to the Seattle SuperSonics at the United Center on Tuesday evening. Ben Gordon scored 21 points for the Bulls, who have dropped two straight after winning three in a row.
Andres Nocioni added 15 points and eight boards and Antonio Davis tallied 13 points and nine rebounds for Chicago, which lost for just the second time in six home games. Eddy Curry and Eric Piatkowski registered 10 points apiece in the defeat.
The Bulls shot just 39.3 percent from the field, including 5-of-25 (.200) from three-point range. Chicago drained 22-of-32 (.688) from the free throw line, while being outrebounded, 51-43. The Bulls committed 11 miscues which led to 13 Seattle points.
Bulls forward Luol Deng sat out yet another game due to a sprained right ankle. Deng, who has been on the injured list for seven games, is expected to return next week.
Chicago has two of its next three games on the road, where it has tallied a 13-17 mark. The Bulls have won five of nine and six of their last 11 road games.
New Jersey has been on a roller-coaster as of late, rotating wins and losses over its last four games. The Nets registered a 98-82 beating of the Orlando Magic at TD Waterhouse Centre on Sunday. The impressive win came just a day after it was trounced 90-65 in Miami.
Vince Carter lit up the Magic with 33 points on 10-of-19 shooting, while draining 12-of-16 from the free throw line. Carter also posted seven rebounds, four steals and three assists in the win. It was the 27th time in his last 29 games that Carter has scored at least 20 points.
Jacques Vaughn registered 22 points and Jason Kidd added a triple-double with 14 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. Kidd also had five steals in the winning effort.
The Nets shot 48 percent from the field, including 5-of-10 (.500) from three- point range. New Jersey hit 23-of-32 (.719) from the free throw line as well. The Nets lost the rebounding war, 40-39, but forced 20 Orlando turnovers in the contest.
New Jersey activated guard Billy Thomas on Sunday and placed oft-injured veteran swingman Ron Mercer on the IL with a lower back strain.
New Jersey is lurking 3 1/2 games behind Orlando for the eighth playoff slot in the East. First, the Nets must make up the three-game difference between themselves and ninth place Philadelphia.
The Nets have posted a 16-14 home record this year. New Jersey has dropped its last two home tilts.
New Jersey has dominated this series this year, winning all three meetings by an average of 6.3 points. The Nets have won eight of nine and 12 of the last 14 meetings in this series. Chicago has lost seven straight and 10 of its last 11 at New Jersey.
03/16 10:26:42 ET