Nuggets, Bulls clash in Chicago

( - The Chicago Bulls are back in the states and will host the Denver Nuggets Friday night at the United Center.

The Bulls squeezed out a 94-92 win over the Raptors in Toronto on Wednesday and were led by Carlos Boozer's 20 points and eight rebounds. Kirk Hinrich and D.J. Augustin had 19 points, Joakim Noah dished out 13 assists to go with eight points and Jimmy Butler added 16 points, six assists and six boards for the Bulls, who have won four in a row.

Butler had a big block on Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan at the end.

"It was a huge game," said Boozer. "Both teams were ready for each other. Jimmy had a great play basically to save the game for us. We needed one stop and Jimmy got it. Game-winning stop right there."

Chicago made 50 percent of its shots and has held its last four opponents under 100 points. The Bulls are second in the NBA in opponents' scoring (92.3) and teams are shooting just 43.4 percent against them.

The Bulls are 15-10 at home this season.

Denver ended a five-game losing streak with Thursday's 101-90 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, as Kenneth Faried netted 26 points and Wilson Chandler added 15. J.J. Hickson chipped in 14 and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets.

"It's good to feel what it's like to get a 'W' again," Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said. "It's been awhile for us."

The Nuggets improved to 11-16 away from home and will start a three-game homestand Sunday versus Sacramento, Portland and Brooklyn. They are one of the worst on defense this season, allowing 104.4 ppg.

The Nuggets made two trades on Thursday's Trade Deadline day. They sent unhappy backup point guard Andre Miller to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Jan Vesely and also swapped forward Jordan Hamilton for Houston Rockets' point guard Aaron Brooks. Brooks should help the Nuggets at the point guard spot with Ty Lawson battling a rib injury and Nate Robinson gone for the season following knee surgery.

Denver defeated the Bulls 97-87 on Nov. 21 at the Pepsi Center and has won five straight and nine of the last 12 meetings between the teams.