A riveting victory gave the Chicago Bulls’ confidence yet another boost. A seven-game road trip, though, has the potential to put a damper on all of the progress they’ve made in recent weeks.
Enjoying their most successful stretch of the season, the Bulls look to end their road woes as they kick off their longest trip of the season in a matchup with the Golden State Warriors on Monday afternoon.
Chicago (18-20) has won four straight and eight of 11, including a 121-119 double-overtime victory over Washington on Friday night.
“We’ve been the type of team that would let it slip at the end. … It shows how much we’re improving,” said Bulls guard Derrick Rose(notes), who made the game-winning shot with 5.4 seconds remaining to cap a career-best 37-point effort.
Though Chicago’s run includes a 96-83 win at Boston on Thursday night, the Bulls have mostly struggled this season away from the United Center. The Bulls have lost 13 of 17 on the road, averaging 92.1 points while shooting 43.2 percent.
Chicago has been held under 90 points seven times on the road. Even the Bulls’ victory over the Celtics lacked some luster, with Boston’s Kevin Garnett(notes) and Rasheed Wallace(notes) both sitting out due to injuries.
The Bulls can certainly use another big game from Rose. The second-year guard is averaging 22.4 points over his last 20 games.
“I used to think about what move I’m going to make or whatever. I’m just letting it come to me right now,” Rose said.
With the Warriors (11-27) averaging 107.3 points, Rose and the Bulls’ offense will likely need to be sharp.
Chicago, though, had an outstanding defensive effort in its last game against Golden State, holding the Warriors to 38.1 percent shooting in a 96-91 overtime win Dec. 11. It was the Bulls’ fourth straight win over Golden State.
Ellis played all 48 minutes for the eighth time this season, finishing with 33 points in the Warriors’ 113-104 loss to Milwaukee on Friday night. Ellis is averaging 29.7 points in his last 14 games for injury-riddled Golden State, which has lost three straight and six of eight.
The Warriors, 1-3 on a season-long seven-game homestand, will be short-handed again after having eight players in uniform against the Bucks.
Second-year forward Anthony Morrow’s(notes) status is uncertain after suffering a knee injury. Golden State was already without guard C.J. Watson(notes) (hand) and big men Anthony Randolph(notes) (ankle), Ronny Turiaf(notes) (ankle) and Vladimir Radmanovic(notes) (Achilles’).
Two Development League call-ups and veteran Devean George(notes) were the only players Warriors coach Don Nelson had available on the bench versus Milwaukee. Golden State has played with nine players or fewer 13 times.
“I have no complaints from the effort the guys have,” Nelson said.