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National Basketball Association
Preview
Chicago at Boston
When: 1:00 PM ET, Friday, November 28, 2014
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

The Chicago Bulls might yet prove to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, but they'll hardly resemble one when they face the Boston Celtics on Friday. The Bulls could be without three starters — Derrick Rose (hamstring), Joakim Noah (knee) and Taj Gibson (ankle) — when they continue their seven-game road trip. The Celtics could use a break, having lost five of their last six with the lone victory against winless Philadelphia.

Chicago has gone 2-3 on its trip, which wraps up Sunday at Brooklyn, after a short-handed 114-109 loss at Denver on Tuesday in which Noah and Gibson sat out and Rose was limited to two points in 10 minutes. "Derrick's not the only one," Bulls coach Tom Thibedeau told reporters. "We've got a lot of stuff going on here. We've got to get people healthy." The Celtics won the first meeting this season, 106-101 in Chicago, despite playing without star point guard Rajon Rondo.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CSN Chicago, CSN New England (Boston)

ABOUT THE BULLS (9-6): The constants for Chicago have been Jimmy Butler (21.6 points, 6.1 rebounds), who matched his career high with 32 points against the Nuggets, and Pau Gasol (19.3 points, 10.5 rebounds). Even when Rose plays, he is averaging a career-low 15.7 points and his five assists per game are his second-lowest, only ahead of his average in 10 games last season. Offseason addition Aaron Brooks (10.9 points) has taken advantage of increased playing time when Rose is sidelined and led the Bulls with 26 points and eight assists in the first meeting.

ABOUT THE CELTICS (4-8): Boston has surrounded Rondo (10.1 points, 10.7 assists, 7.5 rebounds) with plenty of offensive talent, as he is one of five players averaging double-digit scoring. Jeff Green leads the way at 18.4 points per game, and Jared Sullinger (16 points, 8.4 rebounds) is putting up solid numbers in the post. Boston's play at the defensive end has been less impressive, though, as the Celtics rank near the bottom of the league in most defensive categories, allowing opponents to shoot 47.6 percent and score 107.2 points per contest.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Boston has lost four straight at home and is trying to avoid its first five-game skid in its own building since losing 13 straight in the 2006-07 season.

2. Chicago is 63-3 since the start of the 2010-11 season when shooting 50 percent or better from the field.

3. The Celtics are 1-7 against teams with a .500 or better record at the time of the game.

PREDICTION: Bulls 103, Celtics 100

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Chicago 9-6 L1 2-3 7-3 0-0 9-6 2-2 6-3
Boston 4-8 L2 2-5 2-3 0-0 4-8 2-1 4-2
Last Meeting
Chicago Boston
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
11/8/14 BOS 106 CHI 101 101 38 45.7 106 45 51.9
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Chicago A. Brooks 26 60.0 4
Boston E. Turner 19 50.0 4
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Chicago J. Noah 11 5 6
Boston K. Olynyk 11 2 9
Assists Player  
Chicago A. Brooks 8
Boston E. Turner 6
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Chicago J. Butler 376 51.9 122
Boston J. Sullinger 311 49.4 29
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Chicago P. Gasol 192 40 152
Boston J. Sullinger 188 55 133
Assists Player  
Chicago K. Hinrich 79
Boston R. Rondo 118
Quickchart Matchup
Chicago Off vs  Boston Defense
100.5 Points For
107.2 Points Against
45.8 FG%
47.6 FG%
41.9 Reb
41.5 Reb
Boston Off vs  Chicago Defense
104.7 Points For
99.0 Points Against
47.2 FG%
44.7 FG%
41.5 Reb
43.9 Reb