Preview: Bulls at Nuggets

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[November 22, 2016]  Jimmy Butler is coming off his best performance of the campaign and the standout shooting guard looks to post another stellar effort when the Chicago Bulls visit the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. Butler poured in a season-high 40 points and added seven rebounds and six assists in Sunday's 118-110 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Butler knew he needed to step up with Dwyane Wade resting and told coach Fred Hoiberg prior to the game that was going to score 40. "I just felt like that was what my team was going to need from me, to tell you the truth," Butler explained afterward. "For me to be aggressive, to put the ball in the basket. With our second-leading scorer out, I had to pick up the pace a little bit." Chicago is 3-1 during a six-game road swing and catches a Denver team that is just 2-4 at home even after Sunday's 105-91 victory over the Utah Jazz. Rookie guard Jamal Murray is displaying signs of becoming an impact scorer and scored 16 of his 18 points on Sunday in the final quarter.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, NBATV, CSN Chicago, Altitude (Denver)

ABOUT THE BULLS (9-5): Butler scored 20 or more points in eight straight games and 12 of 14 this season while averaging 25.1. The presence of Wade hasn't affected the number of shots Butler gets to hoist as the veteran newcomer understands that Butler is the top scoring option while Hoiberg is impressed with the string of solid performances. "He is playing with a tremendous amount of confidence," Hoiberg said. "Thatís where it starts. Jimmy thinks every time he steps on the floor he's the best player out there and more often than not he's right."

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ABOUT THE NUGGETS (5-8): Murray, the seventh overall pick from Kentucky, scored in double digits in four of the past seven games after failing to do so in any of his first six games as a pro. He has overcome his early season shooting woes and made 11-of-20 3-point attempts over the last four games, including hitting five in a game against the Portland Trail Blazers. "I love playing with a shooter," point guard Emmanuel Mudiay told reporters. "He's playing with a lot more confidence. I think he's figuring out himself and things are slowing down for him as well."


1. The teams split last season's two meetings.

2. Denver swingman Will Barton (ankle) had seven points in 19 minutes versus Utah after missing the previous nine games.

3. Chicago PG Rajon Rondo is averaging 10 assists and 9.5 rebounds in two games since returning from a two-game absence due to an ankle injury.

PREDICTION: Nuggets 105, Bulls 102

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