Thursday, November 20, 2014
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Preview: Bulls at Kings

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[November 20, 2014]  The status of point guard Derrick Rose remains uncertain as the Chicago Bulls visit the Sacramento Kings on Thursday. Rose has missed the last two games due to a hamstring injury but practiced on Wednesday and a decision will likely occur in the hours leading up to tip-off. Sacramento lost to the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday despite 24 points and 17 rebounds from center DeMarcus Cousins to drop to 3-2 at home.

Rose has missed six games total this season and was encouraged after practicing. “It feels a lot better, actually,” Rose told reporters. “Just being able to practice, go through practice at a good pace and really react instead of thinking while I’m out there. It feels good just being on the court.” Chicago is 6-0 on the road as it plays the second contest of a seven-game trip.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT, WGN (Chicago)

ABOUT THE BULLS (8-3): Power forward Pau Gasol is dealing with a left calf issue and could sit out for the second straight game as he has seen improvement in the calf but remains unsure if he’s at a point where he could return to action. “Still a little tender there, but making progress,” Gasol told reporters. “We’re taking it really one day at a time and see how it feels every morning.” Gasol wasn’t able to practice on Wednesday, so the coaching staff isn’t counting on him to be able to go.

ABOUT THE KINGS (6-5): Sacramento agreed to a three-year, $40-million contract extension with small forward Rudy Gay earlier in the week as the franchise sees Gay as the piece of a playoff team. The Kings were impressed with Gay after acquiring him from Toronto early last season and he has been a good fit in the system of coach Mike Malone. Gay is averaging 21.8 points this season, a nice bump from his career mark of 18.3.

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1. Chicago was routed 99-70 in last season’s visit to Sacramento.

2. The Kings have started 6-5 for the first time since 2006-07.

3. Bulls G Jimmy Butler has strung together three straight 20-point outings and is averaging 25 points during the stretch.

PREDICTION: Kings 98, Bulls 95

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