NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, December 8th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (9-9) at Chicago Bulls (9-8), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers target their fourth consecutive win this evening when they continue their six-game road trip against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center.
This is a special night for the Bulls, who will retire Scottie Pippen's No. 33 during halftime of tonight's contest. Pippen won six championships (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 1998) with the Bulls, as he teamed with Michael Jordan to form one of the most successful one-two punches of all-time.
Pippen, who also played for Portland and Houston, spent 12 of his 17 NBA seasons as a member of the Bulls. He was a seven-time All-Star, a member of the NBA All-Defensive Team from 1991-2000 and was selected as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history in 1996.
The 40-year-old Pippen, who was the 1994 All-Star Game MVP, averaged 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists during his career. He participated in 208 playoff games.
Phil Jackson, who was the head coach for Pippen and the Bulls during the glory years, will be in attendance as he is now the general of the Lakers.
On Wednesday, Lamar Odom scored a team-high 19 points on 8- of-12 shooting, as Los Angeles cruised past Toronto, 102-91, at Air Canada Centre. Smush Parker went 3-for-4 from behind the arc and finished with 15 points for the Lakers, who have won three straight.
Kobe Bryant took just 12 shots in the game and netted only 11 points, but dished out a season-high nine assists in the win.
Parker has been a pleasant surprise for the Lakers and has recorded team-highs with 43 three-pointers and 37 steals.
Los Angeles, which will close its trek with stops in Minnesota, Dallas and Memphis, is 5-4 away from home this season.
Chicago, meanwhile, comes in on a winning note as well after Jannero Pargo scored a season-high 23 points to lead the Bulls to a 102-93 victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday at the TD Waterhouse Centre.
Luol Deng added 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, as the Bulls' bench outscored Orlando's 59-24. Pargo led the Bulls in scoring after spending most of the season on the inactive list.
Mike Sweetney, who chipped in with 12 points, was one of several players who picked up the scoring slack in the absence of guard Kirk Hinrich. The Kansas product suffered a concussion when Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki elbowed him in the face early in the first period of Monday's 102-94 loss.
Hinrich is questionable for tonight's affair, as is forward Tyson Chandler, who left Wednesday's win with breathing problems believed to be related to a hiatal hernia.
Chicago, which won for the first time in three tries on Wednesday, is 4-3 in its arena this season.
The Bulls topped the Lakers, 96-93 earlier in the season and have won seven of the last 10 in the Windy City against them.
12/09 10:09:16 ET