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Bulls-Thunder Preview


Bulls-Thunder Preview
If only the Chicago Bulls could carry over their recent success at home on to the road.

Coming off another key home victory, the Bulls will try to avoid losing a season-high eighth straight road game Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Chicago (31-37) won 127-121 over Boston on Tuesday to extend its season-high home winning streak to seven games. The Bulls, who hosted and routed New Orleans 97-79 on Saturday, moved one-half game ahead of Milwaukee for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

While Chicago might hold that advantage, they'll need to find a way to win on the road if they want to remain in playoff position.

The Bulls are 10-26 on the road, and haven't won away from home since a 113-104 victory on Feb. 18 in Milwaukee. Chicago is allowing 108.4 points per game while averaging 95.3 during its road skid.

The Bulls haven't lost eight in a row on the road since Nov. 1-24, 2006.

But Chicago also will need a better effort than its most recent against Oklahoma City to end the skid. The Bulls were outrebounded 59-37 and outscored 15-4 in overtime of a 109-98 home loss to the Thunder on Jan. 10.

While Ben Gordon scored 22 points and rookie Derrick Rose added 16 with six assists, the Bulls didn't have John Salmons or Brad Miller on their roster at the time.

Salmons tied a career-high with 38 points on 14-for-20 shooting and Miller added 21 with 14 rebounds Tuesday for Chicago. The Bulls shot 70 percent in the fourth quarter and scored 38 points in the final period to beat Boston.

"It really was a fun game," said Salmons, who is averaging 19.3 points since being traded along with Miller from Sacramento to Chicago on Feb. 18, and 23.9 in his last seven games overall.

While with the Kings, Salmons scored 42 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in two games versus the Thunder.

The 7-foot Miller, meanwhile, is starting to give the Bulls a solid inside presence they'd been lacking. He is averaging 15.3 points and 9.0 rebounds in his last four contests.

Chicago is making its first trip to Oklahoma City since the franchise moved from Seattle. The Bulls had their four-game winning streak over the Thunder snapped earlier this season.

Oklahoma City (19-48) upset San Antonio 78-76 on Monday to extend its season-high home winning streak to four games.

Kevin Durant scored 25 for the Thunder, who overcame a 17-point deficit and a 35.8-percent shooting effort to hold the Spurs to their lowest point total of the season.

The Thunder - 8-0 when holding opponents to fewer than 88 points - are one win from matching last season's total.

"We're just looking forward to going out and finishing the season strong and get victories and try to become a better team as the season goes along," rookie Russell Westbrook told the Thunder's official Web site.

Durant, who is averaging 25.9 points, had 28 and 12 rebounds against Chicago in January. Westbrook and Jeff Green each had 14 points and 12 rebounds in that contest.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 18, 2009

 

 
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