The Chicago Bulls did something during their last road trip that no other team in league history has accomplished. When the Bulls hit the road again to face the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, they’ll look to achieve something the franchise hasn’t done in four seasons - win six straight as the visiting team.
After dropping the first two of a seven-game trip that ended Friday, the Bulls (23-23) became the first team in NBA history to win five consecutive road games on the same trip versus teams with winning records.
“We’re playing good basketball, hanging in there throughout the whole game,” Bulls guard Derrick Rose(notes) said following Friday’s 108-106 overtime victory in New Orleans. “We’re sticking with tough teams.”
Chicago, though, has dropped three in a row to teams with sub-.500 records after falling 90-82 at home against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.
“We’re not a team that can take anyone lightly,” coach Vinny Del Negro said. “When your top players don’t play well, it’s hard to beat good teams. It’s hard to beat any team, for that matter.”
Chicago will try to snap its skid versus teams with losing records as it faces Philadelphia (16-31) in the second of four meetings this season. Luol Deng(notes) and Kirk Hinrich(notes) scored 19 points apiece in a 94-88 victory over the visiting 76ers on Nov. 14.
In the teams’ last meeting in Philadelphia, Thaddeus Young(notes) scored a career-high 31 points and Andre Iguodala(notes) added 25 as the 76ers won 104-101 on March 13 in the final NBA game at the Spectrum.
If Chicago can post a victory Wednesday at the Wachovia Center, it will be the team’s first six-game road winning streak since it won its final six road games of the 2005-06 season.
The Bulls, however, need to improve their shooting and take better care of the ball than they did Tuesday. After hitting 49.4 percent from the field and averaging 14.0 turnovers during its five-game winning streak, Chicago shot 38.0 percent and committed 20 turnovers against the Clippers.
Rose averaged 24.6 points during the Bulls’ winning streak, but he missed 13 of 20 shots and scored 16 on Tuesday.
“We were just making bad plays, making bad decisions,” he said. “It was tough the whole night.”
Rose and 76ers guard Allen Iverson(notes) will both represent the Eastern Conference in the Feb. 14 All-Star game. The two former No. 1 overall selections have faced each other just once. Playing for Detroit, Iverson had five points and eight assists in a 104-98 victory over Chicago on Dec. 23, 2008. Rose scored 10 points with five assists in that matchup.
They will not face off in this game, as Iverson will not play because one of his children is ill.
Back in the starting lineup for the past six games, 76ers forward Elton Brand(notes) will look to continue his strong play against the team that drafted him first overall in 1999. Brand, who played for Chicago for two seasons, is averaging 19.3 points and 11.3 rebounds in 14 games versus the Bulls.
Young is scoring 13.5 points per game with 5.8 rebounds since Brand took his spot in the starting lineup. He averaged 14.1 and 5.2 in 41 games as a starter.
“It’s very hard watching entire first quarters, second quarters, third quarters or however many minutes I sit in a row,” Young said Tuesday, “..but I can only control what I can and just go out and play when it’s my time.”
Young has averaged 22.7 points and shot 65.2 percent from the field over his last three home games against Chicago.