Preview: Chicago At Denver
When: 9:00 PM ET, Friday, February 5, 2016
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
The Chicago Bulls traditionally struggle in Denver and attempt to end an eight-game skid in the Mile High City when they visit the Nuggets on Friday. Chicago last won in Denver on Feb. 8, 2006, and dropped a 114-109 decision in last season’s visit.
All-Star guard Jimmy Butler (knee tendinitis) could miss his second straight game as his left knee flared up after playing 47 minutes on Monday. The Bulls defeated the Sacramento Kings 107-102 on Wednesday without Butler for only their fifth win in the last 14 games. Denver dropped an 85-81 decision to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday for its sixth loss in nine games. The Nuggets are close to being declared out of the Western Conference playoff race and embark on a four-game road trip following the contest.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, CSN Chicago, Altitude (Denver)
ABOUT THE BULLS (27-21): Guard E’Twaun Moore moved into the starting lineup in place of Butler and poured in a career-best 24 points while playing 39 minutes. It was just Moore’s fourth start of the season and he went 4-of-5 from 3-point range, one make off his career high. “I knew our team needed a spark,” Moore told reporters. “It was so important to start the game off well and get us going in the right direction. I did that and it helped out a lot.”
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (19-31): Small forward Danilo Gallinari continues to be the bright spot for Denver, and he had 24 points in the loss to the Jazz. Gallinari has scored 23 or more points in four of the last five games and has 23 20-point games this season. Center Nikola Jokic looked superb when he had 27 points and 14 rebounds against Toronto on Monday, but he struggled against Utah with eight points and six rebounds while dealing with shoulder soreness.
1. C Pau Gasol had 26 points and 19 rebounds as the Bulls recorded a 99-90 home win over the Nuggets on Dec. 2.
2. Denver SF Will Barton, who was named to participate in the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star weekend, is averaging 15.8 points over the past six games.
3. Chicago PG Derrick Rose is 12-of-36 shooting over the past two games.
PREDICTION: Bulls 101, Nuggets 98