Published January 16, 2012
| Sports Network
Memphis will shoot for a season-high third straight win Monday afternoon but to do it, the club will have to solve the sizzling Chicago Bulls, who handed the Grizzlies one of the most lopsided defeats in franchise history earlier this month.
The Bulls, who come in with an NBA-best 12-2 mark, decimated Memphis 104-64 in the Second City back on New Year's Day. To make matters worse for the Grizz, that's the game where Zach Randolph suffered a torn MCL in his right knee. The All-Star has been on the shelf ever since and Memphis has recorded a 4-3 record without its big man.
"We definitely went to a defensive lineup and got some key stops down the stretch," said O.J. Mayo, who scored nine for Memphis. "We just sustained our energy and defensive intensity throughout the end of the game."
The Bulls, meanwhile, keep rolling along. Chicago remained perfect on its home floor Saturday when reigning league MVP Derrick Rose scored a game-high 18 points and added 11 assists as the Bulls pulled away in the second half to take a 77-64 win over the Toronto Raptors at United Center.
Carlos Boozer recorded 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Taj Gibson dropped in 11 points with 12 boards for the Bulls, who improved to 5-0 as the host.
"We put in a lot of work to get to where we are and we're excited to have the record, but at the same time we feel like we can do better," Bulls forward Joakim Noah said. "We're not satisfied with a record in January. We want more."
On the injury front for Chicago, backup point guard C.J. Watson is getting closer to returning from a dislocated left elbow while veteran Rip Hamilton will likely miss his eighth straight game with a strained left groin.
The Bulls have won three straight over the Grizz, including a 96-84 win in Memphis last season that snapped a five-game skid on Beale Street. Rose had his only career triple-double in that one.