The Utah Jazz missed a chance for their first 11-game winning streak in almost nine years their last time out. The Chicago Bulls, meanwhile, haven't won more than two straight in 2007-08.
After their first loss in more than three weeks, the Jazz look to win their fourth straight game against the short-handed Bulls open when they open their two-game season series on Friday night.
Utah's 10-game run ended Friday with a 117-104 loss to Sacramento. A win would have given the Jazz 11 straight for the first time since April 1999.
It also was Utah's third loss in its last 19 games since Dec. 29 after a nearly month-long slump left it at 16-16. The Jazz, who lead Denver by two games in the Northwest Division, now face a Bulls team that hasn't won consecutive contests since Dec. 28-30.
Utah (32-19) won both of its games against Chicago (20-29) last season, even though the Bulls had Luol Deng, Ben Gordon and Kirk Hinrich all in the lineup. Now, Chicago could again be without them as it tries to beat the Jazz for the first time since a 103-98 victory on Nov. 12, 2005.
Deng, averaging 17.9 points per game, will miss his 10th straight contest with Achilles' tendinitis. Ben Gordon (wrist) and Kirk Hinrich (bruised ribs), meanwhile, are questionable after missing a 114-108 win over Golden State on Thursday.
Gordon, Chicago's leading scorer at 20.0 points per game, has missed seven of his last nine games and Hinrich hasn't played in two straight. Hinrich, the Bulls' starting point guard, averaged 24.0 points and 5.5 rebounds versus Utah in 2006-07.
Those injuries left Chris Duhon as the only true guard in the Bulls' eight-man rotation Thursday, and he finished with a career-high 34 points. He hadn't scored more than 13 all season.
"Being the only guard ... it gives you extra confidence knowing that you could be a little bit more aggressive," Duhon said. "Even if you miss a few shots and make a couple of mistakes, coach is going to continue to keep playing you, so you just play a little bit more loose and don't play mind games with yourself."
Duhon helped Chicago improve to 2-3 on its six-game road trip. He likely will be matched up with Utah's Deron Williams, one of the top young point guards in the league.
Williams, the third overall pick in the 2005 draft from Illinois, is having a career season, averaging 19.2 points and 9.7 assists per game while shooting 40.0 percent from 3-point range. He finished with 18 points and nine assists versus the Kings.
While Williams orchestrated Utah's offense nicely yet again, the Jazz uncharacteristically struggled on defense. They allowed six Sacramento players to score in double figures en route to giving up over 110 points for the second straight game. Utah yielded 89.2 points per game in its previous six contests.
The Jazz and Bulls meet again on March 11 in Chicago.
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