The Chicago Bulls have proven they can beat their biggest rival. It's nearly every other team that is giving them problems.
The inconsistent Bulls once again try to carry some momentum from an impressive win when they visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.
Chicago (16-23) expected to be one of the best teams in the East, but it owns the sixth-worst record in the conference approaching the season's halfway point.
Despite their struggles, the Bulls managed to beat the Central Division-leading Pistons 97-81 on Saturday, improving to 3-0 on the season against their longtime rival.
"We continued to play the way we needed to play as a team," Bulls interim coach Jim Boylan said. "For us it's all about ball movement and playing together as a team. We did that and I hope we can continue that forward."
Chicago was unable to build off its first two victories over the Pistons. Two days after their first win of the season - a 97-93 victory over Detroit on Nov. 8 - the Bulls suffered their most-lopsided defeat of 2007-08, 101-71 to Toronto. Chicago won 98-91 at Detroit on Dec. 7, but followed that up with a 92-81 loss to Boston.
The Bulls are now looking for their first consecutive wins since Dec. 28 and 30.
Chicago will be without Chris Duhon, who has started the last 13 games but had to be carried off the floor Saturday after colliding knees with Chauncey Billups. He was diagnosed with a left knee sprain.
Luol Deng, who is averaging 18.1 points, missed Saturday's game with a sore Achilles' and is listed as day-to-day. He missed three games earlier this month with the same injury.
With two starters out on Saturday, Ben Gordon picked up the slack, finishing with 33 points. He is averaging 28.7 points in his last three games, after totaling only 12 points in his previous two.
Gordon also had 33 points in his last game against the Grizzlies, a 104-103 loss on March 17. He is averaging 26.0 points on 63.4 percent shooting - including 12-of-24 from 3-point range - in his last three games against Memphis.
The Bulls split their two games with the Grizzlies last season, with each team winning once at home.
Chicago has lost two straight at FedEx Forum, and is 1-5 in Memphis since the Grizzles franchise moved there before the 2001-02 season.
Memphis (11-29) beat Seattle 124-100 in its last home game on Friday, but has not won consecutive games at FedEx Forum since Nov. 24 and Dec. 1.
After beating the Sonics, the Grizzlies lost 105-87 at Charlotte on Saturday - their sixth loss in seven games overall.
"Obviously we're grinding away,'' Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "Not to make excuses, but we've got to find guys who are eager to score."
Rudy Gay had 17 points and nine rebounds against the Bobcats after missing Friday's win over Seattle with flu-like symptoms.
Pau Gasol, who had 28 points on Saturday, is averaging just 15.8 points in his last five games against the Bulls.
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