The top-seeded Chicago Bulls are still unsure who their opponent will be in the opening round of the playoffs and will conclude the regular season tonight versus the Cleveland Cavaliers at the United Center.
Chicago will face either the New York Knicks or the Philadelphia 76ers to open the postseason. New York and Philadelphia are both in action tonight and sit even for the final two playoff spots in the conference.
The Bulls have won two straight and six of eight games, including last night's 92-87 triumph at Indiana. Carlos Boozer had 16 points and seven rebounds, while Joakim Noah added 14 points and 14 boards. Kyle Korver scored 20 points and reigning MVP Derrick Rose posted 10 points and seven assists for Chicago, which closed out the season with a 24-9 road record.
"I thought we came out with a great start," Korver said. "We set the tone early with a high energy level."
Chicago will put its 25-7 home mark on the line Thursday and try to lock down the NBA's best record. The Spurs enter the last day of the regular season deadlocked with the Bulls but Chicago owns the tiebreaker. A win tonight by the Bulls or a loss by San Antonio at Golden State would give Chicago home- court advantage in a possible NBA Finals matchup.
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers have lost three in a row and eight of 10 games, and are coming off Wednesday's 96-85 setback versus Washington.
D.J. Kennedy led the way with 12 points and Antawn Jamison chipped in 10 for the Cavs, who got five points in less than 10 minutes from Rookie of the Year candidate Kyrie Irving. Irving was listed as doubtful because of an illness.
"[Irving] told me he wanted to play because it was fan appreciation night," Cavs head coach Byron Scott said. "He said, 'Coach, just 10 minutes.'"
The Cavaliers have lost three in a row on the road and are 10-22 as the visitor this season. They will miss the playoffs for a second straight year after five consecutive trips to the postseason.
Cleveland will try to avoid being swept in a season series by the Bulls for a second straight year and has dropped the previous seven meetings between the two teams. The Cavs have lost three in a row and 10 of 15 trips to Chicago.