GAME NIGHT FROM THE UNITED CENTER:
Detroit: (4-9, 1-6 on the road) at Bulls: (4-10, 2-5 at home)
TV: NBCSC: Neil Funk and Stacey King 7PM
RADIO: 670 The Score: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington, and David Schuster 6:45 pre.
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 20 ppg. Detroit: Drummond: 19 ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Carter: 9 per. Detroit : Drummond: 17 per.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Satoransky: 4 per. Detroit: Kennard: 4 per.
LAST MEETING: November 1 at United Center: Bulls 112 Detroit 106.
PREVIEW: The Bulls have dropped three straight; the Pistons four in a row. The winner of tonight's game will feel relief and the loser will be deflated. Simple as that. Both teams must bring a sense of urgency to the floor and for the Bulls that means playing a complete 48 minutes of basketball. The Bulls were hanging tough with Milwaukee until the final five-plus minutes of the game. The Bucks made shots, the Bulls could not. As Zach LaVine mentioned after Monday's game, he and Lauri Markkanen must play well for the team to succeed. The two went a combined 6-28 from the field against the Bucks.
Certainly, a bright spot for the Bulls was the energetic play of 6-10 rookie Daniel Gafford. The former University of Arkansas star ran the floor, blocked shots, altered shots, dunked six times and collected five rebounds to go with 21 points on 10-12 from the field. Both Gafford and Wendell Carter Jr. each have six fouls to use on Pistons big Andre Drummond who is flat out hoopin' this season. Drummond leads the NBA in rebounding at 17 per game. He has 12 double-doubles on the year and is shooting a career-best 69% from the foul line.
The Bulls need to develop a winning mentality at home as they finish off a four-game stand Friday against the Heat before playing Saturday in Charlotte.
Derrick Rose returns to the United Center for the second time in three weeks. He's averaging 18 points per game. Luke Kennard is having a breakout season averaging 17 per contest.
Luol Deng will be in attendance tonight and will be recognized for his outstanding contributions both on and off the court. Deng served the Bulls with character, integrity, kindness, humanity and a competitive fire that made him an outstanding multiple All-Star player. Deng played in 637 regular-season games and 48 playoff games for the Bulls in nine-plus seasons. He remains one of my favorite players I've had the pleasure of covering in my 40 years of broadcasting college and NBA basketball. I wish him nothing but the best.
24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES:
New Orleans 115, Portland 104: Carmelo Anthony is back. Melo signed a one year deal with the Blazers and scored 10 points. He missed 10 of 14 shots but hasn't participated in a full practice.
Los Angeles Lakers 112, OKC 107: LeBron James has now recorded a triple-double against all 30 NBA teams (25-11-10). That's a first in league history. Anthony Davis with a monster game of 34 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. The Lakers have won 12 of 13.
Sacramento 120, Phoenix 116: Bogdan Bogdanovic set career highs with 31 points and seven- three-point field goals. Yep, he's that good and the battered Kings are just a game under .500.
Golden State 114, Memphis 95: The Warriors snapped a seven-game losing streak.
Always a pleasure.