Friday, February 21, 2014
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Preview: Nuggets at Bulls

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[February 21, 2014]  The Denver Nuggets pulled out of a five-game skid at the expense of the worst team in the NBA and will attempt to keep that momentum up against stiffer competition when they visit the Chicago Bulls on Friday. The Nuggets made some minor moves at the trade deadline and played with a short bench in Thursday’s 101-90 triumph over Milwaukee while waiting for the new arrivals. The Bulls made their move a long time ago by shipping out Luol Deng and are steadily climbing up in the East.

Chicago has won four straight to pull three games over .500 and into fourth place in the underwhelming Eastern Conference. “It’s been a hell of a turnaround,” center Joakim Noah told “Definitely. But we’re not satisfied with being three games over .500. Just like (coach Tom Thibodeau) says all the time, ‘things change quick in this league.'" The Nuggets are hoping Thursday’s triumph sparks a quick change in its own fortunes, as they sit six games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference after being the No. 3 seed last season.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, Altitude (Denver), WCIU (Chicago)

ABOUT THE NUGGETS (25-28): Denver has been without an adequate backup at point guard since Andre Miller was suspended from the team and the Nuggets finally moved the disgruntled veteran in a three-team deal that brought back forward Jan Vesely from the Washington Wizards. Denver was not done fixing the point guard situation and also swapped forward Jordan Hamilton to the Houston Rockets in exchange for veteran Aaron Brooks, who can handle the point along with Randy Foye until Ty Lawson (rib) is ready to return. Foye handed out 10 assists on Thursday as the Nuggets got a combined 55 points on 23-of-32 shooting from the starting frontcourt of Kenneth Faried, J.J. Hickson and Wilson Chandler.

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ABOUT THE BULLS (28-25): Denver will have a tougher time scoring in the frontcourt against Chicago, which ranks second in the NBA in points allowed and boasts All-Star Noah in the middle. Forward Carlos Boozer was rumored to be on the trade block but the Bulls ended up keeping the high-priced veteran, who provides a strong tandem with Taj Gibson at the four spot. Chicago is limiting opponents to 84.8 points over the last four games and has allowed only one of its last 11 opponents to reach 100 points.


  1. Bulls sharpshooter Mike Dunleavy is just 8-for-36 from beyond the arc in the last nine games.

  2. The Nuggets have taken five straight and seven of the last eight in the series, including a 97-87 home win on Nov. 21.

  3. Denver C JaVale McGee, who has been out since Nov. 8, underwent surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left tibia and is out for the season.

PREDICTION: Bulls 96, Nuggets 89

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