The Bulls improved to 2-2 thus far on the road swing following Thursday's 105-102 victory over the New York Knicks behind Derrick Rose, who scored 15 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter and added 13 assists and four rebounds. Rose was held to 18 points in a loss at Philadelphia the night before and has now scored 30-plus points in four of his last five games, averaging 30.6 ppg in that stretch. He had a season-best 35 points against Washington on Monday.
"I think the good teams in this league find ways to win games. Most nights if you can be consistent with your defense it gives you a chance to win if you are not shooting well. We were fortunate tonight because we were able to score. We have to continue to improve our defense," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver scored 16 points apiece, while C.J. Watson finished with 12 points and Joakim Noah added 10 and nine rebounds for Central Division-leading Chicago, which improved to 10-5 as the guest and won for the 12th time in its last 16 tries. The Bulls shot 52.7 percent for the game and were without forward Luol Deng (wrist) and guard Richard Hamilton (groin/thigh). Both players are day-to-day.
Chicago leads the NBA in road wins with 10. Oklahoma City and Indiana are each second with nine road victories.
The Bulls' nine-game road trip is the longest since the 1992-93 season, when they went 6-3 on a nine-game trek. In 1974-75, Chicago played a team-record 11 straight games away from home (7-4). It will also make stops in New Jersey, New Orleans, Charlotte and Boston.
Milwaukee is back at home after losing by an 88-80 score last night in Detroit and will play back-to-back games in Brew City. It is 7-2 as the host and got 20 points from Brandon Jennings.
Shaun Livingston had 14 points and Ersan Ilyasova chipped in nine and 12 rebounds for the Bucks, who had won three in a row and six of eight games before shooting 35.1 percent from the floor at The Palace.
"Well we were terrible in every aspect of the game," Bucks head coach Scott Skiles said. "There's no reason to sugarcoat, our effort was awful; total lack of focus and concentration."
The Bucks will try to extend their home winning streak to four games and will also welcome the Phoenix Suns to the Bradley Center.
Milwaukee lost a 107-100 decision at Chicago on Jan. 27 this season, as Rose poured in 34 points to lead the way. Jennings led Milwaukee with 25 points and seven rebounds. The Bulls have won five straight and eight of the past 11 meetings between the teams. Since the 2003-04 season, Chicago has gone 23-10 against Milwaukee.
These two teams have split the last six meetings at the Bradley Center. In 13 career games against the Bucks, Rose is averaging 20.5 ppg. Jennings is posting 13.0 points per game in seven career matchups with the Bulls.