Bulls Battle Bobcats At United Center
After one of Derrick Rose’s best games of the season, the Chicago Bulls return home to take on the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Chicago Bulls seem to play their best basketball at the United Center. A visit from the road-challenged Charlotte Bobcats may help continue that trend.
Chicago seeks its longest home winning streak in nearly 13 years Tuesday night when it meets struggling Charlotte.
However, the Bulls may have to do it without forward Carlos Boozer, who scored 28 points and had 13 rebounds in the last meeting against the Bobcats.
The Bulls (28-13) won their third straight Monday, 96-84 at Memphis as Boozer sat out with a sprained ankle. He’s listed as day to day.
The Bulls went 9-6 starting the season without Boozer, who was out with a broken hand. Taj Gibson, who started 14 of the 15 games Boozer missed, got his first start since Dec. 18 and scored 10 points Monday.
Derrick Rose recorded his first career triple-double with 22 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, and Luol Deng had 28 points – his most since scoring 40 on Nov. 1.
“A win is a win no matter how my stats are,” Rose said.
Another victory at home would give the Bulls nine straight, which hasn’t been done since Bobcats owner Michael Jordan helped Chicago win 10 in a row at the United Center from Feb. 28-April 7, 1998.
The Bulls have won 13 of 14 on their home court, and their 18-3 home record is among the best in the NBA. Rose is averaging 33.0 points over his last three at home, victories against Boston, Detroit and Miami.
Chicago last lost Wednesday, 96-91 in Charlotte.
Conversely, that’s the last time the Bobcats won.
Charlotte (15-24) dropped its third straight Monday, blowing a 10-point third-quarter lead before losing 96-92 in overtime in Philadelphia. The defeat was the 11th in 12 road games for the Bobcats, who are 4-14 away from home.
Before their skid, the Bobcats had won a season-high four straight under interim coach Paul Silas.
“We’re fighting hard to stay in games and we’re not just giving up,” Silas said. “We’ll get there. We’ll learn and we’ll get there.”
Boris Diaw had a triple-double against the 76ers with 25 points, 11 rebounds and a season-high 11 assists. Charlotte played without former Bull Tyrus Thomas, who was suspended one game for a flagrant foul committed on New Orleans’ Emeka Okafor on Saturday.
Thomas spent his first three-plus seasons with Chicago before being traded midway through 2009-10. He averages 8.4 points for his career but is scoring 14.3 in three games against his former team.
Thomas scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds Wednesday against Chicago, and the Bobcats forced Rose into a game-high four turnovers, including a crucial giveaway with under a minute remaining.
D.J. Augustin, 3 for 16 from the field in his last two games combined, had 22 points and a season-high 12 assists last week against the Bulls.
Charlotte is 2-9 all-time in Chicago, dropping its last three visits.
Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. STATS LLC and The Associated Press contributed to this article. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.