(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls are one of the hottest teams in the league and they'll try to remain as such Monday night when they host the Milwaukee Bucks at the United Center.
Chicago is only 1-1 since the All-Star break, but it has won five of its last six overall. The Bulls have taken three straight as the host and have six in a row at home upcoming with visits from the Charlotte Hornets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Clippers, Washington Wizards and Oklahoma City Thunder on the slate.
On Saturday, the Bulls began this seven-game stay with a 112-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
Pau Gasol tallied 22 points and 14 rebounds to the lead the Bulls. Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose posted 19 and 16 points, respectively, while Joakim Noah contributed 12 rebounds and eight assists in the win.
Mike Dunleavy netted 15 points, and Taj Gibson and Aaron Brooks added 12 points apiece off the bench.
"I look at the standings," said Gasol. "We're three games behind Toronto, one game ahead of Cleveland and Washington. So we have to tighten up. We have to worry about ourselves, do our job. We play well and win games, things will work out. Take advantage of this home stand for sure."
The Bucks had a four-game winning streak snapped on Sunday night with a 97-86 home loss to the Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta Hawks.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton had 19 points apiece to lead Milwaukee. O.J. Mayo added 15 off the bench and Jerryd Bayless scored 13 points.
Kyle Korver caught fire early in the fourth. The All-Star sniper hit three 3s in less than two minutes, the last of which capped a 13-4 run and extended Atlanta's lead back into double figures, where it remained for the duration of the game.
The Bucks were done in by 25 turnovers, which the Hawks turned into 18 points.
"Too many turnovers," said Bucks forward Jared Dudley. "Tip your hat to them, they played well."
The Bucks are still waiting for Michael Carter-Williams to make his team debut. The reigning Rookie of the Year, who was acquired at the trade deadline in a three-team deal from Philadelphia, has been out with a toe injury.
After hosting Philadelphia on Wednesday, the Bucks head west for four games against the Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors.
The Bulls have won both meetings this season between Central Division rivals. Chicago has won five straight in this series, but only two of the last five as the host.