NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, February 9th
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Bulls (24-25) at Los Angeles Lakers (18-32), 3:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls will put the finishing touches on
their six-game western road trip Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Bulls are 2-3 on the junket and dropped a 102-87 decision to Steph Curry
and the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. Curry carried the Warriors with 34
points on 13-of-19 shooting and added nine assists.
Taj Gibson filled in for an injured Carlos Boozer (calf) to lead the Bulls
with 26 points and also grabbed 13 rebounds. Kirk Hinrich and Jimmy Butler
scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, for Chicago, losers in three of the
last four games and owners of an 11-15 road ledger.
"I thought it was a winnable game down the stretch and we didn't get it done,"
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Chicago had won nine of 11 games before a recent eight-game struggle (3-5).
Joakim Noah chipped in seven points and 11 rebounds in the loss to Golden
State, and has grabbed at least that many boards in 20 of the past 21
The Bulls will then play two straight at home versus Atlanta and Brooklyn, and
are expected to be without Boozer Sunday in L.A. Boozer is doubtful.
Los Angeles will limp back to Staples Center winners of two straight since a
seven-game slide and will play the next six contests as the host.
The Lakers made it two wins in a row with Friday's 112-98 victory at
Philadelphia, as Steve Nash had 19 points and five assists on his 40th
birthday and both Wesley Johnson and Chris Kaman tallied 17 points.
"I thought I could play well, I could contribute," Nash said. "At this point,
I don't take anything for granted. It's a grind for me to get ready to play
every day. I'm just thrilled I can move out there without restriction and help
L.A. went 2-1 on its road trip and has been toiling with a depleted lineup in
recent weeks. The Lakers were without the services of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol,
Xavier Henry, Nick Young, Jodie Meeks and Jordan Farmar. Meeks is listed as
questionable versus the Bulls.
The Lakers will also host Utah, Oklahoma City, Houston, Boston and Brooklyn on
the homestand and have an 8-13 record as the host. However, the Lakers are
winless in their past four home games.
Los Angeles dropped a 102-100 overtime decision to the Bulls on Jan. 20 at the
United Center, where Gibson's layup off an inbounds pass barely beat the
buzzer to pull Chicago to victory. D.J. Augustin had 27 points off the bench
to lead the Bulls in that one, while Young paced L.A. with 31 points.
The Lakers have still won 10 of the last 15 meetings with the Bulls and are
13-3 in the past 16 encounters in Hollywood.
02/09 10:23:05 ET