First meets worst as Bulls visit Bobcats

The Chicago Bulls just dropped a decision to one of the more inept teams in the Eastern Conference and will now take on the NBA-worst Charlotte Bobcats tonight at Time Warner Cable Arena.

The Bulls suffered an 87-84 loss to the lowly Washington Wizards Monday with reigning MVP Derrick Rose (foot) and starting forward Luol Deng (ribs) on the bench. Richard Hamilton paced the Bulls with 22 points, while C.J. Watson and Carlos Boozer added 17 and 16 points, respectively, in defeat. The Bulls blew an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter.

"Bad second quarter, bad fourth quarter," said Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Chicago is now 16-8 without Rose in the lineup and 2 1/2 games ahead of the Miami Heat for the East's top seed. The Central Division-champion Bulls beat the Heat last Thursday in the Windy City and will try not to look past the woeful Bobcats for a showdown with Miami on Thursday.

Rose and Deng are both listed as questionable for Wednesday's game. The Bulls are 22-8 as the visitor this season.

Charlotte just set a franchise record with its 17th-straight loss Monday in a 75-67 decision versus the New Orleans Hornets in the second test of a five- game homestand.

Gerald Henderson scored a game-high 27 points and rookie Kemba Walker added 14 and five rebounds for Charlotte, which shot a season low 30.3 percent and entered the game at the bottom of the league in scoring (87.9 ppg), scoring differential (13.3 ppg) and field goal percentage (41.8 percent).

"The whole year has been frustrating but this game was more frustrating because we really got ourselves up for this one," Henderson said on the team's website. "It was a close game the whole game but we couldn't score. It was a struggle to score."

Byron Mullens pulled down 10 rebounds to go with four points in defeat. The Bobcats are assured of having the worst record (7-53) in the league at season's end, and if they fail to win any of their remaining six games they'll finish with a .106 winning percentage, which would be worse than the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who finished 9-73 for a winning percentage of .110.

Charlotte's 17-game skid is the longest since Cleveland dropped 26 in a row from Dec. 20, 2010-Feb. 9, 2011. The Bobcats will also host Memphis and Sacramento on the homestand and have lost 10 in a row at home. They are just 4-25 on their own floor this season and haven't tasted victory since beating Toronto on March 17 in the Tar Heel State.

The Bobcats hope to avoid a season sweep at the hands of the Bulls and have lost the first two meetings of the season. The Bulls have won four straight against Charlotte, which has dropped three of four as the host to Chicago.