(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls continue their pursuit for a Central Division title Wednesday night when they visit the Bradley Center to tangle with the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bulls trail LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers by 2 1/2 games for divisional supremacy. A Central Division crown also carries the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Bucks are most likely headed to the postseason, although they haven't clinched a spot yet. Milwaukee is sixth in the east, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Miami Heat.
The Bulls are playing good basketball at the moment. They've won three straight and five of their last six, but are just 1-3 in their last four on the road.
On Saturday, the Bulls demolished the New York Knicks, 111-80, at the United Center.
Nikola Mirotic scored 24 points off the bench and Pau Gasol had 19 points and 12 rebounds to lead Chicago. Jimmy Butler added 18 points and Taj Gibson scored 14 for the Bulls.
"It was a really important game for us playing at home," said Mirotic. "We started great, especially on defense ... and we played good on both sides."
Derrick Rose participated in a full contact practice on Monday for the first time since Feb. 27 knee surgery. There is no timetable for his return, but it's getting closer.
"He was aggressive," coach Tom Thibodeau told the Chicago Tribune of Rose. "He was a little winded, but we expected that. Overall, I thought it was good. He said he feels good physically. The big thing is going to be the wind and conditioning. He's been out a long time."
The Bucks have been in free-fall a bit. They've lost two straight, are 2-8 in their last 10 and 5-15 since Feb. 22.
The two setbacks during this skid are understandable. The Bucks lost at home to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, then fell in Atlanta on Monday to the Hawks, 101-88.
Milwaukee continued its second-half slide with its 11th straight road loss despite Zaza Pachulia posting 17 points and 13 rebounds against his former team. Giannis Antetokounmpo paced the Bucks with 18 points.
"Offensively and defensively, there was not enough energy. That's what we've built our foundation on, and we just had another no-show tonight," Bucks coach Jason Kidd said.
DeMarre Carroll scored the first five points of the final quarter to extend Atlanta's edge to 13, and the Bucks would not get any closer than nine the rest of the way.
The Bulls have won six straight over the Bucks and are 16-3 in their last 19. Chicago has taken nine in a row in Brew City with its last loss there on Jan. 8, 2010.