David Nwaba of the Bulls drives the ball against Grizzlies.

CHUCK'S DAILY CHECK IN 3.15.18

Chuck previews tonight's game against Memphis and updates Bulls fans on stories from around the NBA.

GAME NIGHT FROM MEMPHIS: Bulls ( 23-44, 8-25 on the road) at Memphis ( 18-49, 13-22 at home) 7PM CT

TV: WGN TV: Neil Funk and Stacey King: 7pm CT
RADIO: 670 The Score: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington and Steve Kashul 6:45 CT pre.

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 16 ppg. Memphis: Gasol: 17 ppg.
REBOUNDING LEADERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 7. Memphis: Gasol: 8
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 6. Memphis : Gasol: 4

LAST MEETING: March 7, 2018 in Chicago: Bulls 119 Memphis 110. The Bulls built a 21 point lead only to see the Grizzlies' Dillon Brooks take over, scoring 20 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter before the Bulls put the game away. All 10 starters scored in double figures for their respective teams . The Bulls went to the foul line 32 times but committed 20 turnovers leading to 28 Memphis points.

CCI 24 SECONDS COMMENTARY: Lauri Markkanen will miss his second straight game with back spasms. The Bulls certainly miss his presence but this affords Head Coach Fred Hoiberg an opportunity to get a long look at players such as Noah Vonleh paired with different combinations on the floor. Cam Payne is making the most of his opportunity and is playing with confidence. My interest in the final 15 games is to see how some of these young Bulls' players close games in pressure situations. It's all a part of the maturation and process for Payne, Vonleh, Felicio, Valentine, etc.

Memphis has dropped 18 straight, longest losing streak since they arrived from Vancouver in 2001. The last time Memphis enjoyed a win was on January 29. The Grizzlies roster has been ripped apart with key injuries to Mike Conley, Tyreke Evans and others. Chandler Parsons is on a restricted minutes limit as he continues to battle through knee issues.

NBA NEWS AND NOTES

Washington 125 Boston 124 in 2 OT. The Celtics played without Irving, Brown , Theis, Horford ,and Smart. Bradley Beal scored 34 as the Wizards, who continue to play without John Wall, erased a 20 point deficit.

Orlando 126 Milwaukee 117. Jonathan Simmons scored a career high 35. D.J. August in added 32. The Bucks have lost 7 of 10.

Sacramento 123 Miami 119. The Kings blew a 16- 4th quarter lead but thanks to Zach Randolph prevailed in the extra period.

Golden State 117 Lakers 106. Klay Thompson will be sidelined with a fractured right thumb. The Warriors are already playing without Steph Curry.

Kevin Love is expected to return to the Cavaliers lineup next week . He's been out 19 games ( Cavs 10-9) with a broken hand.

Good luck to Loyola basketball. Chicago has your back!

Thanks for reading CCI. Email me at cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter: @ctsbulls

Always a pleasure !

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