Bulls, Wizards set for Eastern showdown

(SportsNetwork.com) - In what could be an early playoff preview, the Chicago Bulls will visit the Washington Wizards Tuesday at the Verizon Center.

The Wizards eliminated the Bulls in five games during the first round of the playoffs last season and will play the first of four meetings Tuesday evening.

Washington went 2-1 against Chicago in the regular season in 2013-14.

The Bulls have played very well on the road as evidenced by their 12-4 record outside the Windy City and are shooting for a fourth straight win. The Bulls are coming off Monday's 129-120 victory over the talented Toronto Raptors.

Derrick Rose scored 29 points on 12-of-19 shooting and Jimmy Butler followed with 27 points and 11 rebounds for Chicago, which shot 54.1 percent and received 14 points apiece from Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah. Noah was pleased with Rose's consistency from the floor.

"Didn't miss too many shots and when he gets in a zone like that, it's tough to stop us," Noah said of Rose.

Chicago has won nine of its last 12 games.

The Wizards look to get back on track after having a six-game winning streak stopped with Sunday's 104-92 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Rasual Butler scored 17 points and Kevin Seraphin added 16 for Washington, which is still 10-2 in the last 12 games. John Wall and Bradley Beal scored 14 points apiece in defeat.

"They outworked us, they outphysicaled us all game long," Washington coach Randy Wittman said.

Washington dropped to 13-3 in DC and is averaging 105.2 points per game this month. The Wizards are 9-2 (7-1 at home) in December and averaging 103.4 ppg at the Verizon Center this season.

Wall leads the Wizards at home with 18.4 points per game and is posting an average of 17.2 ppg in December (11 games). Wall averaged 20.7 points and 8.0 assists in three games against the Bulls last season.