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Bulls vs. Bucks game preview, injury report, lineups

It’s an early game on the MLK holiday

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

While the Chicago Bulls haven’t been able to beat any of the top teams in the NBA, they have made it a habit of beating opponents around them in the standings. On Saturday, they notched another victory against one of the rebuilding teams in the East in the Cleveland Cavaliers, behind 43 points from Zach LaVine.

This performance just adds to string of elite offensive games we have seen recently from LaVine. In the past month he is averaging 30.2 points per game on 50 percent shooting from the field and 36.9 percent from deep. LaVine has put the Bulls offense on his back and has willed them to some victories. Thanks to his heroics, Chicago has now won three of their last five games.

But they are still 10th in the East, 3.5 games behind the Brooklyn Nets for the final playoff spot.

While it’s only a small amount of results to make up for the Bulls, they really aren’t in the playoff race until they can show they can beat a quality team. Last week Chicago played two games against quality teams in Boston and Philadelphia, both of which ended in losses.

The Milwaukee Bucks are arguably the best team in the league, at 38-6 and are on a six game winning streak. Milwaukee has only lost once this month and have the second highest offensive rating in the NBA. Their offensive prowess was on display on Saturday against the Nets, going 50.6 percent from the field and 45.6 percent from three, scoring 56 points in the paint. Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is the front runner for league MVP, scored 29 points and Khris Middleton dropped 20. The Bucks have terrorized their opponents due to stingy defense and have offensive weapons to compliment their star.

These teams last played on December 30th and it ended with a 123-102 Bucks win in Chicago.

Injury Report: Daniel Gafford and Wendell Carter Jr. are still both out with a thumb and ankle injuries respectively.

As for the Bucks, Robin Lopez will miss this afternoon’s game with an illness.

Game Time: 4PM CT

TV: NBC Sports Chicago

Betting Odds: Milwaukee opened as a 14.5 point favorite but it’s since moved up to (-15). But in some places you can find (-14).