If the Bulls can beat the Miami Heat for their first three-game winning streak in over one year, Crawford will have made a much more significant contribution to the run.
Chicago has won two straight for the second time this season, thanks in large part to Crawford’s outstanding play.
Crawford made five 3-pointers and scored a career-high 42 points in the Bulls’ 100-86 victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday.
Coming off a 30-point performance at Cleveland on Friday, the 6-foot-5 guard outdid himself. He was 16-of-27 from the floor and 5-of-7 from 3-point range. Crawford shot just 14-of-54 in his previous three games.
“I think I am being more patient, usually when you come out and rush to score it doesn’t happen for you,” said Crawford, averaging 17.6 points per game in his third season. “I think I’m picking my spots a lot better.”
Crawford’s 42 points were the most by a Bull since Jalen Rose scored 44 at Houston on March 16, 2002.
Chicago can win its third straight game for the first time since Dec. 14-18, 2002. Crawford averaged 3.3 points during that streak.
Bulls center Eddy Curry hopes to be back Monday. Curry went on the injured list Dec. 16 with a bone bruise on his left knee.
“Right now, how I’m feeling, I definitely think I’ll be up for playing on Monday,” Curry said.
Miami had a three-game winning streak snapped Saturday, shooting 36 percent in a 100-80 loss to the New York Knicks.
Lamar Odom scored 25 points for the Heat, and is averaging 21 points in his last two games.
Miami was without rookie guard Dwyane Wade, who sprained his right wrist in Friday’s victory over the Washington Wizards. His status is day-to-day. Wade is second on the team with 16.8 points per game.
Heat reserve forward Udonis Haslem sprained his right knee and sat out the second half. His status for Monday’s game is uncertain.
STANDINGS (through Dec. 27): Heat - 4th place, 4 1/2 GB, Atlantic Division. Bulls - 6th place, 11 GB, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Heat - Jones, 18.4 ppg; Odom, 8.9 rpg; Wade, 4.3 apg. Bulls - Crawford, 17.6 ppg; Tyson Chandler, 10.3 rpg; Hinrich, 5.5 apg.
2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Heat, 2-1.
LAST MEETING: March 26; Bulls, 82-74. At Chicago, Crawford had 17 points and five assists to lead the Bulls.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Heat - 3-13 on the road; Bulls - 5-10 at home.
INJURIES: Heat - F John Wallace (knee); C ZhiZhi Wang (leg); F Jerome Beasley (back); G Wade (wrist); F Haslem (knee). Bulls - F Scottie Pippen (knee); F Chandler (back); F Chris Jefferies (back); G Jay Williams (pelvis/knee); C Curry (knee).