Published February 28, 2014
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Mavericks carry a four-game winning streak into Friday night when they welcome the equally-hot Chicago Bulls to American Airlines Center.
The Mavs swept a three-game road trip, then came home and crushed the New Orleans Pelicans by 19 on Wednesday. Dallas is 9-2 in the month of February and is 4-1 in its last five at home.
"We've done better over the last couple of weeks. But we've got a long way to go," said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle. "It's all going to be coming fast and furious. The home games are obviously of great importance."
On Wednesday, Monta Ellis scored a game-high 23 points and handed out seven assists to lead the Mavericks.
Dirk Nowitzki added 18 points, Vince Carter scored 17 and Shawn Marion chipped in 10 points and eight boards against the Pelicans.
The Mavs shot unbelievably well on Wednesday, going 41-for-79 from the field, 10-for-22 from 3-point range and 16-for-17 from the free throw line. The Mavs scored 30 points off 21 Pelicans' turnovers.
Dallas hits the road for two straight starting with a huge tilt in San Antonio on Sunday, then a matchup with the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.
The Bulls have won two in a row and seven of their last eight with the only blemish and 14-point loss in South Beach to the two-time defending champion Miami Heat.
On Wednesday, Carlos Boozer registered a 15-point, 13-rebound double-double, as the Bulls breezed past the Golden State Warriors, 103-83, at United Center.
Taj Gibson tallied a team-high 21 points, while Jimmy Butler supplied 16 points in his return from a two-game absence due to bruised ribs.
"I felt great," Butler said of returning to game action. "Feels even better to get the win. After I started moving around a little bit, everything went back to normal."
Mike Dunleavy donated 15 points for the Bulls and Joakim Noah finished with eight points, 17 rebounds and seven assists.
Chicago is 8-4 in February and has allowed over 100 points just twice in that span. The Bulls rank second in the league in both opponents' scoring and field-goal percentage.
The Mavs beat the Bulls in Chicago on Dec. 28, but the Bulls are 4-2 in the last six meetings between the two. Chicago has dropped six of seven and 13 of its last 15 in Big D.