Game Preview: Sixers vs Bulls
70 games in the books with 12 more to play. The 76ers are officially in the stretch run of the regular season. And they are playing their best ball at the right time. They have a league-best 8-game winning streak. They will try to make it 9 straight tonight when the Bulls come to town.
After a 3-game road trip, the Sixers are making a quick stop at home before packing their bags once again for a 4-game roadie. That begins on Wednesday night to face tonight’s opponent, the Chicago Bulls, as part of the home-and-home 2-game series for the final meetings of the regular season. The 76ers are now in second place in the Eastern Conference standings after their road sweep with a 48-22 record and are just in front of the Boston Celtics by percentage points for the second spot. Philadelphia is now 22-12 on the road after Saturday night’s 20-point win over the Indiana Pacers, looking to improve on their 26-10 home record tonight as they host the Bulls. Chicago is in 10th place as part of the play-in tournament with a 33-37 record, sporting a 13-21 record on the road.
Tonight marks game three of the four-game season series. The two teams have split the pair so far. Philadelphia won game one, Chicago game two. The latter was played in South Philadelphia on January 6th with the Bulls winning by a final score of 126-112. Zach Lavine had himself a night, dropping a game-high 41 points, and was feeling it from three-point range making 11 of his 13 tries on the night. Nik Vucevic posted a triple-double of 19 points, 18 rebounds, and 10 assists. Patrick Williams added 18 in the win. For the Sixers, Tyrese Maxey scored 26 to lead the way for the home team, 22 and 11 boards for Tobias Harris – James Harden put together a double-double of 17 and 11 dimes. Joel Embiid did not play in the game.
The Bulls have won their last two games, their latest a 113-99 win at home over the Miami Heat. Six players in double-figures. Led by All-Star DeMar DeRozan’s 24 points. He handed out a game-best 10 assists and 3 steals. Zach Lavine and Coby White finished with 18 apiece. As a team, the Bulls shot 56 percent from the floor and 50 percent (17-34) from three. Chicago made a trip to the free throw line just six times making all of their tries. Beverley, who was added to the team as a buyout candidate, has played in and started all 11 games since joining the team. They are 7-4 in those games.
PHI: Embiid, Harris, Tucker, Maxey and Harden
CHI: Vucevic, DeRozan, Lavine, Caruso and Beverley