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Bulls vs. Mavericks preview: Chicago aims for 10th win in a row

It’s the beginning of a five games in seven days stretch for the Bulls

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Washington Wizards v Chicago Bulls Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

It’s been a great first full week of January 2022 for the Chicago Bulls. They were able to beat both the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards with three days of crucial rest in between. Chicago didn’t play their best basketball in either of those games but were still able to come out victorious. Thanks to losses during the week by Brooklyn and Milwaukee, the Bulls lead at the top of the Eastern Conference has now grown. Chicago is now up 2.5 games on second place although the gap between them and the fourth placed Bucks is still just three games. It has been a fun journey throughout this winning streak but the Bulls are going to have to beat some tough teams in their path if they want to keep it going.

These games are going come in quickly as well. Chicago is now slated to play five games in seven days, including two back to back’s. This gauntlet of a stretch also makes the three day break they had this week even more crucial. Tonight will be the first of these five opponents and it comes against a Western Conference opponent.

The Dallas Mavericks are coming into this game with a winning streak of their own to protect. They have reeled off five straight victories are also undefeated in the new year. This will be the Mavericks fourth game this week and they most recently played on Friday. Against the Houston Rockets, they came out of the gates on fire, scoring 43 points in the first quarter. They were up 20 at halftime and ended up cruising in a 130-106 blowout. Without Luka Doncic, Dallas got an all-around team effort on offense. They had six guys in double figures lead by the 19 of Tim Hardaway Jr. and 17 from Josh Green. The Mavericks currently have a record of 21-18, good enough for the 5th seed in the Western Conference. However, the Lakers are hot on their tail being just a game back.

This will be the second time Chicago has played Dallas. The last time they met was in back in November at the United Center when the Bulls used a big third quarter to win 117-107.

Injury Report:

It appears Chicago let Jordan Bell’s 10-day contract from the roster expire since he’s listed as not with the team (as tweeted by KC Johnson). Other than that the injury report hasn’t changed since the Wizards game. Javonte Green is still out with a right adductor sprain while Tyler Cook is nursing a sprained left ankle. Alex Caruso remains in the health and safety protocol list.

Meanwhile, Doncic is questionable for Dallas with a right ankle sprain and so is Dorian Finney-Smith with an illness. Kristaps Porzingis is in health and safety protocols while Willie Cauley-Stein will miss today’s game due to personal reasons.

Game Time: 6:30 PM CT

TV: NBC Sports Chicago

Odds: Chicago is a slight favorite with the spread being only 2 points. However you can find them as 2.5 point favorites at some places. As for the total, it’s listed at 217.5 at most places but you can find totals of 217 as well. (All info via the Action Network)