NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, December 31st (All times Eastern)
Charlotte Bobcats (7-23) at Chicago Bulls (16-12), 3:00 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Haven't the Charlotte Bobcats ventured down this path before?
Actually, it was less than a year ago Charlotte endured its worst losing streak in franchise history (23 games) and is tasked with trying to stop another lengthy slide. The Bobcats will take another crack at the win column when they carry their 18-game skid into the Windy City Monday afternoon to face the Chicago Bulls.
Charlotte's woes continued with Saturday's 98-95 loss to the New Orleans Hornets as rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist led the way with 22 points, but only four came after halftime. Kidd-Gilchrist suffered an inadvertent kick to the head, according to coach Mike Dunlap.
Gerald Henderson scored 19 points, Kemba Walker netted 15 and Hakim Warrick ended with 12 and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats, who haven't won since Nov. 24 at Washington. The Bobcats are mired in a nine-game road losing streak and are just 2-11 as the visitor.
"We gotta solve this issue," Dunlap said.
Dunlap did note that he has seen more energy and emotion from his players during the drought. Charlotte hasn't proven that statistically and is last in the NBA in defense allowing 104.5 ppg. Warrick has made the most of his increased play and has posted averages of 14.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 31.1 minutes over the previous three games.
The Bulls will wrap up a three-game homestand Monday and ended a two-game losing streak with Saturday's 87-77 triumph versus the Wizards.
Marco Belinelli scored a team-high 17 points, while Carlos Boozer added a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds. In a sloppy fourth quarter for both teams, the Bulls had a 17-14 in the final 12 minutes to win for the fifth time in the past eight tries.
"I think we can play much better than we did tonight, but it was important for us to win a game and we did," Belinelli said after the Bulls allowed an opponent season-low 77points.
Belinelli was a boost off the bench and has scored in double-digits in 11 of his last 12 games, but Boozer has been more of the meat and potatoes with 13 double-doubles in his last 21 games. Chicago is 4-1 this year when it holds opposing teams to 80 points or less and 12-3 when it limits a team to less than 90.
Chicago, which is allowing 91.5 ppg this season and scoring only 92.7 ppg, is 9-7 at the United Center this season and will hit the road to Florida later this week to face Orlando and Miami.
The Bulls won all three matchups with the Bobcats last season and is 20-9 in the 29 overall meetings between the teams. Charlotte lost 11 of the 14 encounters in Chicago.
12/31 10:30:24 ET