GAME DAY FROM THE UNITED CENTER - 2:30CT tip.
Brooklyn Nets (19-21, 9-10 on the road) at Bulls (10-29, 5-15 at home).
TV: NBC Sports Chicago: Neil Funk and Stacey King: 2: 30 tipoff.
RADIO: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington, Steve Kashul. 2:15 pre.
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 23 ppg. Brooklyn: Russell: 17 ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 7 per. Brooklyn: Davis: 8 per
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 6 per. Brooklyn: Russell: 6 per.
LAST MEETING: December 19, 2018 at the United Center - Brooklyn 96 Bulls 93
Dinwiddie off the bench with 27 and came up with a crucial steal late in the game. Allen 16 points, 12 rebounds. Dunn 24 points. Portis 16-11.
CCI PREVIEW: The Bulls can build off their OT loss on Friday to Indiana as Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen played solid ball.
Dunn with a career high 17 played unselfishly throughout the contest and allowed the game to come to him. LaVine got it going early with 17 first quarter points then turned it on at crunch time in the fourth quarter and the extra period. Markkanen was popping in threes and continued to display his versatility on the offensive end.
The Bulls get an added bonus with the return of Bobby Portis who went down December 19 with an ankle injury so the Bulls will have a relatively healthy roster for the first time this season, minus Denzel Valentine who is gone for the year with an ankle injury.
The Nets are surprising everyone in the NBA. We know they play hard. We know they’re well coached. We know players such as Spencer Dinwiddie and D’Angelo Russell play with a chip on their shoulders. What we didn’t know is how the Nets could handle adversity losing key players such as their leading scorer in Caris Levert and a valuable piece in Allen Crabbe. Another significant piece, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will be a no go with a right adductor strain. They’re managing quite nicely as Joe Harris is having a break out season. Whether the Nets can sustain this run (seventh seed, winners of 11 of 14) remains to be seen but GM Sean Marks deserves high marks for astute basketball decisions rebuilding a major mess handed to him. This is going to be a very competitive game as the Bulls would love to end a three game slide before heading west for five straight games starting Wednesday in Portland.
CCI 24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES:
Toronto 123 - Milwaukee 116. A huge road win for the Raps. Playoff intensity. The Raps are so deep. They went in to Milwaukee without Lowry and Valanciunas and won. Totally impressive . Leonard had an MVP type game. 30, 6-6 and 5 steals game. Siakam with a career high 30. This kid is really good. Giannis had a monster 43-18 game.
Golden State 127 - Sacramento 123. The two teams shattered the NBA record for most made 3s in an NBA game combining for 41. That’s right — 41. Steph Curry drilled 10.
Philadelphia 106 - Dallas 101. The 76ers played without Jimmy Butler who was sidelined with an upper respiratory infection. Ben Simmons posted a triple double. Jalen Brunson returned to Philly where he started at Villanova and had a solid 13-11-8 game.
Denver 123 - Charlotte 110. The Nuggets best start in franchise history as they improved to 26-11. Denver has won 10 straight at home. Nikola Jokic is a flat out baller: 39-12-6- 3 steals and 1 block shot.
Utah 110 - Detroit 105. The Pistons committed 14 second half turnovers. The Pistons blew an 18 point lead. Mitchell with a 26-5-5 game for the Jazz. Griffin 34-10-5 for the Pistons.
New Orleans 133 - Cleveland 98. The Pels were struggling and they found the right tonic to cure their ills... the Cavaliers. Make it nine straight losses for the Cavs; five in a row at home by at least 20 points. 8-32 overall. Yikes
San Antonio 108 - Memphis 88. The Grizzlies have lost five straight. Justin Holiday scored two points in 20 minutes in his Memphis debut. The Spurs have won 12 of 15.
Portland 110 - Houston 101. The Blazers snapped the Rockets six game win streak. James Harden “held” to 38 points He had scored 40+ in his previous five games. The Blazers have won four of five.
PS: Go Bears!