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Bulls vs. Thunder game preview and thread: Chicago hoping to end two-game skid

SGA and company arrives in Chicago on second night of back-to-back

Chicago Bulls v Oklahoma City Thunder Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images

After botching two close road defeats earlier this week, our Chicago Bulls head back to the United Center to host the Oklahoma City Thunder. The 19-23 Bulls, currently the 10th seed in the East, are looking to end their losing streak at two.

It’s hard to know what to expect of these Bulls even when DeMar DeRozan is available thanks to the team’s miserable long-range shooting and erratic defense, but without him nailing clutch jumpers and drawing free throws in the fourth quarter, things have looked rough so far.

On Wednesday, Chicago somehow lost to a Washington Wizards team missing Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis, thanks in part to Zach LaVine doing, uh, this with Chicago trailing by three and 5.7 seconds remaining in regulation:

Let’s hope that serves as a teachable moment going forward. We know Zach Attack wants to be the new King of the Fourth, but this is not the way.

Chicago fans should look to get their money’s worth out of Alex Caruso and, hopefully to a lesser extent, Ayo Dosunmu, tonight, who will face one of their toughest challenges of the season in defending Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. If there’s any justice in the world, SGA will be voted onto his first All-Star team before club president Sam Presti shuts him down for the season with “ankle soreness” again.

He just dropped 37 points on 10-of-16 shooting, eight assists, four rebounds, two blocks and a steal on the heads of the Philadelphia 76ers last night in Philadelphia. The kid was utterly fearless, attacking the rim with regularity. He got 16 chances at the charity stripe Thursday, and nailed every single one. The Thunder are young, athletic and generally unafraid to launch from deep (they rank 11th league-wide in three-point takes). Although Vegas currently favors the Bulls as 4.5-point favorites at home, I’d be wary of taking that over.

Injury Report: Beyond the two Bulls with the surgically-enhanced knees, DeMar DeRozan remains doubtful with a right quad strain. Unnecessary Reinsdorf expenditure Tony Bradley remains in the league’s COVID-19 protocols. Zach LaVine is probable with a right hand contusion.

The Thunder will be withoutAleksej Pokusevski, as well as rookie lottery pick Ousmane Dieng and second-year power forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl.

Time: 7 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago