(Sports Network) - The Chicago Bulls look to continue a strong run on Saturday
night when they host the Brooklyn Nets at the United Center.
The Bulls have won six of their last eight, including a road victory Wednesday
night in Philadelphia against the 76ers. Luol Deng led the way with 19 points
and 12 rebounds and Joakim Noah contributed a team-high 21 points.
Those two lead the NBA in minutes played. With a long way to go, but no real
relief in sight for the two, they could become the first teammates since the
1996-97 season when the Charlotte Hornets' Anthony Mason and Glen Rice led the
The win on Wednesday came after a late-starting game in Chicago on Tuesday, a
loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
This recent run is all the more special based on how depleted the Bulls'
backcourt is. Former MVP Derrick Rose hasn't played a minute and his return is
unknown, but Kirk Hinrich and Rip Hamilton have both sat out recently with
"The thing for us is we want to continue to improve," said head coach Tom
Thibodeau. "The big challenge in the NBA is whatever's in front of you, you
have to attack it. Sometimes, the schedule is in your favor. Sometimes, it's
The Nets will have some tired legs when they jump it up in the Windy City. On
Friday night, Brooklyn needed two overtimes and a long jumper from Joe Johnson
to knock off the Detroit Pistons, 107-105.
Johnson's jumper came from just inside the 3-point arc as time expired in the
second extra session.
"It's a feeling that when I shot it, when it left my hand, I knew it was going
in," said Johnson, who led the Nets with 28 points. "That's why I kind of
faded back on my trot, kind of swagged out. I was just glad we were able to
get outta here with a win."
Gerald Wallace had 25 points and 10 rebounds and Deron Williams chipped in 17.
The victory was the second in a row for the Nets, who dropped five in a row
before this winning streak. It might have had a lot to do with the return of
center Brook Lopez, the team's leading center, who missed seven games with a
sprained right foot. He had nine points in 24 minutes on Friday.
Hopefully, some of the Nets got some sleep on the plane because heavy minutes
were logged. Johnson went almost 52 minutes and Wallace exceeded 50. Williams
played over 43.
The Bulls have won four of the last five against the Nets, but the loss was
the most recent between the two. On Feb. 18, 2012, the Nets bested the Bulls
in Chicago, 97-85.
The Sports Network