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NBA -- Bulls face rare 3-beat


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- Under the regime of head coach Tom Thibodeau, back-to-back Bulls loses are rare as an eclipse, an occurence that has happened only six times since the hard-charging former Boston Celtics assistant took over the helm in June 23, 2010.

But the Bulls have never lost three in a row under Thibodeau. It's a streak that could end Wednesday night when the Bulls wrestle with the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center in downtown Houston.

After losing back-to-back games to the Los Angeles Clippers and the Portlland Trail Blazers over the weekend, the road doesn't get any easier for the struggling Bulls, who dropped to an average 5-5 record after a promising 3-1 start.

Although Houston has its own issues, plummeting down the standings with a 4-7 slate, the Rockets are a dangerously deep team that boasts of an explosive lineup bannered by reigning NBA Sixth Man James Harden, who is averaging 24.2 points. 4.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game for the season

Harden gets ample support from ex-New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons, Patrick Patterson, and former Bulls center Omer Asik. The 7-foot Asik was a prominent member of the once-vaunted Bulls bench. But he departed to Houston in the offseason after getting a rich three-year contract worth north of $25 million. With his increased playing time as a Rocket, Asik is averaging 10 points and 12.3 rebounds a contest.

The Rockets are averaging 99.4 points a game and judging from how badly the Bulls have played defense recently --- surrendering at least 100 points in four straight games --- Chicago and coach Thibodeau could be in for a long night. (Kristin Haas)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Kristin Haas.


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