Friday, December 13, 2013
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Preview: Bulls at Bucks

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[December 13, 2013]  The struggling Chicago Bulls seek to halt a three-game losing streak that includes a defeat against Milwaukee when they visit the Bucks on Friday. Chicago has been hit hard by injuries and has failed to reach 80 points in any of the recent losses, including a 78-74 home loss to the Bucks on Tuesday. Milwaukee has the second-worst record in the NBA and was steamrolled 109-77 by the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

The Bucks are just 2-9 at home after being routed by the Spurs and only the Utah Jazz have a worse overall record. The Bulls could be without forward Luol Deng (Achilles) for the fourth straight game but center Joakim Noah (thigh) returned for Wednesday's loss to the New York Knicks after missing the loss to Milwaukee one night earlier. Chicago is just 2-9 on the road and has lost seven of nine games since losing point guard Derrick Rose with a major knee injury.

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, CSN Chicago, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)

ABOUT THE BULLS (8-12): Chicago is just trying to keep from digging too big of a hole during a period in which power forward Carlos Boozer has been the only healthy starter. Versatile Jimmy Butler (toe) also remains sidelined and Noah feels getting healthy will lead to the start of stockpiling victories. "Losing sucks," Noah said after the loss to the Knicks. "We've been through a lot this year, a lot of adversity. But I think we have a positive group and I think you can't get too down on yourself. We just got to move on to the next game and I think as guys come back, as guys understand what their roles are, I think our team will be a lot better."


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ABOUT THE BUCKS (5-17): A slew of injuries, a blowout contest and the starting five fizzling for a grand total of 19 points presented opportunities for rookies Nate Wolters, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Miroslav Raduljica against the Spurs. All three players recorded season-high point totals Wolters (18), Antetokounmpo (15) and Raduljica (10) while combining to score more than half of Milwaukee's points. "We do what we can do, especially in a situation where we have a short bench," Raduljica said afterward. "A lot of our veterans are injured so we have to get in there and bring energy."

BUZZER-BEATERS

  1. Chicago has won in each of its past six visits to Milwaukee.

  2. Bulls F Mike Dunleavy has averaged 20 points over the past three games, including a 24-point outing against the Bucks.

  3. Bucks G O.J. Mayo is averaging five points on 3-of-16 shooting over the past two games.

PREDICTION: Bulls 84, Bucks 82

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