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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 21st (All times eastern)

Chicago Bulls (16-23) at Indiana Pacers (21-17), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Central Division rival clash when the Indiana Pacers welcome the Chicago Bulls tonight to Conseco Fieldhouse.

Chicago has lost 14 straight and 15 of its last 16 at Indiana. The last time the Bulls defeated the Pacers on the road was on March 17, 1998.

Indiana tries to get back on the winning track. On Friday, Eddie Griffin had 17 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks as the Minnesota Timberwolves held off the Pacers, 90-85, at the Target Center.

Fred Jones ended with 19 points but missed a potential game-tying three- pointer in the final seconds for Indiana, which again failed to string together consecutive wins. The Pacers have alternated wins and losses since capturing two straight January 5-8.

Austin Croshere ended with 18 points and six boards in the loss to Minnesota for the Pacers, who played their third straight game without All-Star Jermaine O'Neal. The forward continues to recover from a sprained ankle.

O'Neal is questionable for tonight's game.

The Pacers, who have won three of their last four at Conseco Fieldhouse, are 12-5 at home this season. After tonight's contest, Indiana will hit the road for a pair of games against Atlanta and Cleveland.

Chicago also attempts to get back on the winning track as it begins a brief two-game road trip this evening. On Friday, Tracy McGrady returned to the lineup after missing five games with back spasms and poured in 35 points while grabbing nine rebounds, as the Houston Rockets defeated the Bulls, 109-108, in a double-overtime thriller at the United Center.

Luol Deng scored 19 points and Ben Gordon had 18 for the Bulls, who have lost four of their last five games overall. Kirk Hinrich added 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, while Darius Songaila also scored 16 points and hauled in 10 boards in the loss.

The Bulls are 8-10 on the road this season. They are scheduled to visit the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday at Air Canada Centre.

This is the second meeting of the season between the squads. On January 14th, Anthony Johnson scored the game-winning basket with 3.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter and Ben Gordon's last-second shot came just after the buzzer sounded, as Indiana edged Chicago, 91-89, at the United Center.

The home team has won 11 of 13 and 13 of the last 16 meetings in this series, while the Pacers have won two straight and six of the last eight contests.

01/21 10:55:38 ET


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