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Reply To: NBA • Thursday Service Plays • 1/14/16

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Preview: Chicago At Philadelphia

When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, January 14, 2016
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia 76ers own the worst record in the NBA and are in the middle of a stretch of games against the top teams in the Eastern Conference. The 76ers will try to end a three-game slide when they host the Chicago Bulls on Thursday.

Philadelphia had won three of six before falling to Atlanta, Toronto and Cleveland – all at home – by an average of 17 points. “Playing veteran teams like Cleveland, Toronto, Chicago coming up, all these teams we face, we’re taking it game by game and learning,” forward Nerlens Noel told reporters. “We see we are getting better and better and we’re going to continue to work on the things we need to work on.” The 76ers could be in a position to snap the slide against the slumping Bulls, who dropped a 106-101 decision at Milwaukee on Tuesday for their third consecutive loss. Chicago is also once again concerned about point guard Derrick Rose, who left the loss late in the fourth quarter with tendinitis in his left knee.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, WPWR (Chicago), CSN Philadelphia

ABOUT THE BULLS (22-15): Rose managed nine points in 22 minutes in the loss to Milwaukee and downplayed the injury. “Just felt something with my left knee, like jumper’s knee or something like that,” Rose told reporters after the game. “It just didn’t feel right while I was out there. Just got to be cautious with my body.” The former MVP recently sat out three games with a hamstring injury and is averaging 16.6 points, 3.6 assists and four turnovers in five games since returning to the lineup.

ABOUT THE 76ERS (4-36): Philadelphia put together a strong performance against East-leading Cleveland on Sunday but slumped to 16 points in the fourth quarter of the 95-85 loss. “You weigh yourself up against the best and we came out of it I think quite well,” coach Brett Brown told reporters. “I was proud for the most part of our effort (against the Cavaliers).” The 76ers are on the upswing behind point guard Ish Smith, who did his best with 18 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds against Cleveland.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Bulls C Pau Gasol slumped to an average of 11.7 points during the three-game slide.

2. 76ers C Jahlil Okafor is averaging 20.3 points on 27-of-46 shooting in the last three contests.

3. Chicago has taken eight straight in the series, including a 111-88 win in Philadelphia on Nov. 9.

PREDICTION: Bulls 102, 76ers 91