Given how tough their post All-Star break schedule projects to be, the Chicago Bulls need to grab every win they can. Especially in games where they are expected to be victorious. After leading for much of the game, the Bulls nearly blew it against the Atlanta Hawks before DeMar DeRozan came to the rescue again. He scored a clutch and-one jumper with 15.1 seconds left as Chicago escaped with a 112-108 win. The win improved the Bulls record to 39-21 and helped them keep pace with Miami for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. It’s still going to be a tight race all the way as just 4.5 games are between the 1st seed and the 6th seed. Now Chicago begins a stretch of five straight tough matchups against currently seeded playoff teams. With three of those contests on the road, the Bulls are going to nab some wins somewhere along the way. Tonight they face a test against one of the best teams in the Western Conference.
It’s been quite the year for the Memphis Grizzlies. Behind Ja Morant’s emergence into being an NBA superstar, they are currently third in the Western Conference with a record of 41-20. They are on a bit slump after dropping games on either side of the All-Star break. Like Chicago, they played on Thursday but fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-114. Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ziaire Williams had 21 while Morant had 20 but it wasn’t enough. After leading by 10 after the first quarters, Memphis lost the other three quarters. They will be looking to bounce back with a better performance.
After guarding Trae Young on Thursday, it’s going to be another tough test for Ayo Dosunmu. Morant - who suffered an injury scare in that TWolves game but re-entered the contest - is a highly explosive point guard who can get to the rim almost at will. It’s going to be crucial for Ayo to make sure he’s not getting beat off the dribble because once Morant gets some space and head of steam it’s tough to stop him.
No new names have been added to the injury report for Chicago.
As for Memphis, they will still be missing Dillon Brooks as he’s recovering from a left ankle sprain. Yves Pons is out with left thigh soreness and Tyrell Terry is also out.
Game Time: 7PM CT
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Odds: Memphis is currently favored by 2 points in this game. However, you can find lines of 1.5 and even 2.5 as well. The over/under is set at 237.5 at most books but there are totals of 237 and even 238.5 available. (All info via the Action Network)