Two streaks will be on the line this evening at Time Warner Cable Arena, as the Chicago Bulls go after their fifth straight win, while the Charlotte Bobcats attempt to avoid matching the longest losing streak in franchise history.
The Bulls continued to impress on Wednesday, as Carlos Boozer scored 18 points and in an easy 90-67 win over the New Orleans Hornets. Chicago has now won three straight by at least 20 points, all, though, coming against teams with losing records while allowing 90 or fewer.
Derrick Rose, who left Monday's win over New Jersey with lower back spasms, played only 22 minutes and sat the entire fourth quarter. He had six points, six assists and five rebounds.
"He says he feels pretty good," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said of the reigning MVP.
Rose recently missed four games because of a toe injury, including the Bulls' 95-89 win over Charlotte back on January 21. The toe seems fine, but the back has been a cause for concern the past couple of weeks.
"The back was kind of tight," Rose said. "(Coach Tom Thibodeau) did a great job of managing my minutes when he saw we had the game put away."
Given the way the Bobcats have played of late, Rose may not be needed much tonight either.
Charlotte is a miserable 3-22 on the year and enters tonight's contest having dropped 12 in a row and another loss tonight would equal the franchise's longest drought - set Jan. 11-Feb. 1, 2006.
The Bobcats' most recent loss came on Tuesday in Boston, as the Celtics defeated them, 94-84.
"When you have to play your main guys for as long as we do, it gets kind of tough," Charlotte coach Paul Silas said about the Bobcats' recent struggles. "We've just got to keep battling."
The Bobcats, who are 2-8 at home, have lost three straight to the Bulls, but have won four of their last six in their building in this series.