Six storylines to follow during tonight's action
POSTED: Jan 5, 2016 12:46 PM ET
There's always a reason to tune in when Stephen Curry takes the floor.
The Bucks and Bulls matchup for the first time since last season's first round playoff series that Chicago won in six games. The Bulls opened a 3-0 lead over the Bucks before Milwaukee stormed back to win the next two games and force a Game 6 in Milwaukee. That didn't end so well for the Bucks, though, as they lost Game 6 by 54 points. The teams look different now, with Tom Thibodeau out as coach in Chicago and Greg Monroe in at center for Milwaukee. But the animosity is still there after the series got chippy over the last few games. Expect a high-energy affair as both teams enter with a lot to prove against their divisional foe. Also worth noting: this will be Jabari Parker's first NBA game in his hometown of Chicago.
Series Recap: Bulls-Bucks
Look back at the Chicago Bulls series win over the Milwaukee Bucks in six games.
Jimmy Butler set a Bulls franchise record on Sunday when he scored 40 of his 42 points in the second-half to power the Bulls past the Raptors, 115-113. Butler went 14-for-19 in the second half after starting 1-for-4 to tally just the second 40-plus point game of his career. The previous Bulls record for points in a half belonged to Michael Jordan, who scored 39 against Milwaukee in 1989. As former Jordan teammate Scottie Pippen said after Butler's performance on Sunday, "you don't see individual efforts like this too often." Be sure to watch tonight to see if Butler can keep his hot streak going in front of a sold out crowd at the United Center.
Butler Scores 42 Points vs. Raptors
Jimmy Butler scores 42 points, grabs four rebounds and records five assists versus Toronto on Sunday.
Much was expected from the Bucks this season after their competitive series against the Bulls and the offseason addition of Greg Monroe (plus the return of a healthy Jabari Parker). But it has been a struggle so far as they enter tonight in 13th place in the East with a record of 14-22. Their defense, which rated second in the league last season, has dropped to 28th and is the main reason for their disappointing year. Despite their struggles, the future is still incredibly bright in Milwaukee. They are the youngest team in the league and have budding potential All-Stars in Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. Look for a big performance from this young, exciting squad that already has wins over the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers on their 2015-16 résumé.
Draymond Green tallied his third-straight triple-double on Monday to become just the 15th player in NBA history to accomplish the feat and the first forward to do it since LeBron James in 2007. Green now has a league-leading seven triple-doubles on the season, which places him just two triple-doubles shy of tying Tom Gola (1959-60) for the most in Warriors franchise history. Green continues to prove doubters wrong every game and you would be foolish to think he won't have his eyes on a fourth-straight triple-double tonight.
Draymond Green Notches Triple-Double
Draymond Green records his third straight triple-double with 13 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists.
Kobe Bryant is back in L.A. after an event-filled road trip that saw him say goodbye to Charlotte and Boston. He sat out the Lakers' last two games (both wins) with shoulder soreness and is questionable for tonight's action. After a tough start to the season, Bryant is averaging 19.1 points on 41.0 percent from the field, 32.9 percent from 3-point, 4.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists over his last 12 games. There's only four more months to enjoy watching Bryant, so it's a good idea to tune in every time he takes the floor for the rest of the season. Be sure to check back to NBA.com all day for updates on his health status.
Jordan Pays Tribute to Kobe
Michael Jordan pays tribute to Kobe Bryant prior to the Hornets game against the Lakers.
Stephen Curry returned to the floor on Monday after a leg injury caused him to miss two games and leave Saturday's game early after he re-aggravated it. But he looked like his old self yesterday against the Hornets, posting 30 points on 12-for-21 shooting (5-for-10 from 3-point), four assists and two steals in 32 minutes of action. It was his 14th 30-point game of the season, which is tied with James Harden for most in the NBA. On the season, Curry is averaging an absurd 29.7 points on 51.1 percent from the field, 44.4 percent from 3-point (on 10.3 attempts per game), 6.3 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 2.2 steals. There's always a chance to witness something magical when Curry takes the floor, so don't miss an opportunity to potentially witness history tonight.
NBA.com staff reports