Bulls and Celtics clash in the Windy City

The Central Division-leading Chicago Bulls resume a six- game homestand tonight aiming for a measure of revenge over the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics snapped a five-game winning streak by the Bulls in Beantown, 95-91, this past Sunday behind Rajon Rondo's ninth career triple- double with 32 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds.

Of course Chicago was without reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose in that one. The All-Star, who has missed three straight games with an ailing lower back, had an MRI earlier this week that revealed no structural damage but the feeling is that the Bulls will be very cautious with Rose and he is expected to sit again tonight.

"[It's] getting better," Rose said when talking about his back. "I shouldn't have any problems in the long run. I'm going to take my time and be smart."

Chicago improved to 6-2 without Rose, who has also missed some time with a toe injury, with a 121-115 win over Sacramento on Tuesday night.

Luol Deng had 23 points and 11 assists in that one as the Bulls survived after nearly blowing a 19-point lead. Joakim Noah added 22 points and 11 rebounds as Chicago bounced back from its loss to Boston to win for the sixth time in their last seven games and improve to a gaudy 10-1 at the United Center.

"It feels good to win. It's always great to win, but we have to be critical and understand that we need to play better," said Noah.

The Celtics, who are opening up a five-game road trip tonight, were not able to build on their win over the Bulls, losing to Detroit, 98-88, in Beantown on Wednesday.

Rondo scored a career-high 35 points and added six assists and five rebounds in that one for the Celtics, who were playing without Kevin Garnett (hip flexor) and lost for the third time in four games. Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and JaJuan Johnson scored 10 points apiece for Boston.

"A disappointing loss to a team I thought we should have beat," Pierce said. "The defense just let us down tonight. We just consistently couldn't get stops."

Garnett's status for tonight is up in the air as Boston tries to improve on its 4-5 road record and attempts to halt a three-game regular season skid in the Windy City.