NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 16th (All times Eastern)
Chicago Bulls (48-33) at Charlotte Bobcats (42-39), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Two playoff-bound teams in the Eastern Conference still have something to play for Wednesday night when the Chicago Bulls visit The Time Warner Cable Arena to close out the regular season against the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Bulls can move to the third seed with a win on Wednesday night, coupled with a Toronto Raptors loss. The Atlantic Division champs will play in Madison Square Garden Wednesday versus the New York Knicks.
"Whoever we play, we're going to be a tough out," said Joakim Noah. "We're hungry; we want this. We believe in one another. We believe in our system. It feels great to be in this position right now, but we're definitely not satisfied. We want more; we feel like we can do more."
Charlotte will be making only its second postseason appearance in franchise history, but its positioning has yet to be determined. If the Bobcats beat the Bulls and the Washington Wizards fall in Boston against the Celtics, Charlotte would move to the sixth seed.
Last time out, the Bulls got back into the win column with a 108-95 victory at home against the Orlando Magic. Chicago had a seven-game winning streak snapped on Sunday versus the Knicks, but returned to its winning ways against the lowly Magic.
Mike Dunleavy poured in 22 points while shooting 8-for-11 from the field to lead the Bulls.
Noah tallied 18 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists and Jimmer Fredette added 17 points for the Bulls, who have won 10 of 12. Jimmy Butler contributed 12 points for Chicago, followed by Carlos Boozer and Tony Snell, who had 13 points apiece, with Boozer adding 12 boards and five assists.
"We just want to be playing our best basketball, which I think we're playing pretty well. We want to go (into the playoffs) with a good momentum," Boozer said.
The Bobcats, whose only other playoff appearance came after the 2009-10 season, have won two in a row and seven of their last eight.
Chris Douglas-Roberts' floater at the buzzer lifted the Bobcats to a 95-93 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday. Douglas-Roberts took an inbound feed from Josh McRoberts at the top of the key, drove inside the paint and floated the shot in as the buzzer sounded.
"Well that was the last option," Bobcats head coach Steve Clifford said of the final play. "There were a couple of other options that they (Hawks) took away. They did a good job. It was a good screen from Al (Jefferson), a good cut from (Douglas-Roberts), and then Josh (McRoberts) is a very good inbounder. He made a great shot to win the game."
Al Jefferson scored 27 points with 15 rebounds for the Bobcats, who snapped an 11-game losing streak to Atlanta. Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour contributed 17 and 10 points, respectively, in the win.
Charlotte's Kemba Walker, who returned from a two-game absence with a groin injury, scored just five points with seven assists on 1-for-9 shooting.
The Bulls won all three matchups this season with Charlotte and five in a row in the series. Chicago has taken five straight and six of its last seven in Charlotte.
04/16 10:28:53 ET