There are only two teams that have had success on Chicago's home floor this season and the Indiana Pacers are one of them.
Tonight the surging Pacers will try to extend their season-high winning streak to seven games when they take on the Central Division-rival Bulls at the United Center. The Pacers are unbeaten since a five-game slide in early February and recorded a 102-84 victory in New Orleans on Saturday behind a 20- point performance from Danny Granger. Granger has scored 20-plus points five times in his last 10 contests.
David West posted his third double-double in the previous 10 games, posting 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for Indiana, which has won six in a row for the first time since March 28-April 8, 2005 and hasn't registered seven consecutive victories since Feb. 28-March 12, 2004.
"We just took care of our business. I'm proud of the guys and happy about the win," said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. "We're playing unselfish and that's part of our identity."
Darren Collison added 13 points, Lou Amundson and Paul George had 11 apiece and George Hill scored 10 in the victory. The Pacers have enjoyed an average victory margin of 17.5 points during the win streak and are off to their best 35-game start since they were 25-10 in 2003-04. Indiana is 22-3 when scoring at least 90 points and has reached the 100-point mark in five straight games for the first time this season -- the longest streak since hitting the century mark in 12 straight games in January and February 2011.
The Pacers also won nine in a row connecting the end of the 2003-04 campaign and the start of 2004-05, and own a 12-8 road mark this season. They sit six games behind Chicago for the Central Division lead.
Chicago is riding a six-game winning streak as well and continued its winning ways with last night's 96-91 win at Philadelphia. Reigning MVP Derrick Rose led the way with a game-best 35 points and dished out eight assists for the Bulls, who completed a perfect three-game road trip and received 11 points and 18 rebounds from Joakim Noah.
"The pick-and-roll really hurt us," said 76ers guard Andre Iguodala. "He [Rose] was splitting, creating and attacking. We have trouble with him and they exploited it."
Carlos Boozer was the only other scorer in double figures with 13 points, as the Bulls improved to an NBA-best 31-8 on the season. Chicago hasn't won seven straight since ending last season with a nine-game surge.
The Bulls will play seven of eight games at home and are 14-2 as the host, losing to only Indiana and New Jersey on their home floor. They have won three in a row in the Second City.
Chicago suffered a 95-90 loss to the Pacers on Jan. 25, but has won six of the past nine meetings between the division foes. Indiana has still lost 10 of 12 trips to the Second City.