Bulls at Raptors Game Preview: 3/21/12, 6 PM CT, WCIU

Bulls at Raptors Game Preview: 3/21/12, 6 PM CT, WCIU
Photo by Keith Allison

The Bulls are in Toronto tonight to take on the Raptors (6 PM CT, WCIU).

Derrick Rose is expected to sit out his fifth consecutive game with a sore groin, but in all honesty the Bulls should be able to win this one without him.

The only question is which of the "non-big 3" are going to score for the Bulls tonight? It was John Lucas III scoring 20 in Mondays's win at Orlando, but don't be surprised if it's Noah tonight.

Raptors center Andrea Bargnani is a horrible defender and possibly the worst rebounding center in the NBA (I won't count Eddy Curry in this, since he never plays). I expect Noah to have a huge night on the offensive boards and score several buckets on putbacks.

Here are tonight's game notes and Note-A-Bulls, courtesy of NBA Media Central:

Chicago will face the Raptors again on Saturday night (two matchups in a four-day span)

In Chicago’s win over Toronto on Jan. 14, the Bulls held Toronto to an opponent season- low 64 points; Chicago also committed a season-low seven personal fouls

The Bulls won the season series versus Toronto last year for the first time since 2005-06 (when they went 4-0 versus the Raptors); prior to that, Toronto had won the season series the previous three years, going 8-4 against Chicago during that time (the two teams split, 2-2, in 2006-07)

In four games last season, Chicago outscored the Raptors 111.8 ppg to 102.0 ppg (Chicago’s second-highest average versus a single opponent last year; 114.0 ppg vs. SAC)

In their first meeting last season, Carlos Boozer posted 34 points and 12 boards … Chicago is 17-12 against the Raptors at the United Center and 15-16 against them at the Air Canada Centre

In four games versus the Raptors last season, Derrick Rose averaged 23.3 ppg and 9.3 apg in 35.0 mpg and shot .468 from the field; Andrea Bargnani posted a Raptors-best 23.5 ppg and 7.0 rpg and 37.0 mpg in two games against Chicago last season

The Bulls are 2-2 in overtime games against Toronto, most recently dropping a 134-129 decision at Toronto on March 29, 2009.

Chicago has not lost consecutive games in the regular season since Feb. 5-7, 2011, a span of 80 games. It is the longest streak in franchise history for most games played between losing consecutive games and it is the fifth longest in NBA history (STATS LLC.).

· Utah Jazz: 95 games (Nov. 22, 1997-March 19, 1999)
· Boston Celtics: 85 games (March 27, 1984-March 31, 1985)
· Indiana Pacers: 84 games (Dec. 12, 1997-March16, 1999)
· Los Angeles Lakers: 82 games (Jan. 18, 1985-Jan. 22, 1986)
· Chicago Bulls: 80 games (Feb. 9, 2011-March 19, 2012)

Chicago leads the NBA in scoring margin with a difference of +9.0. In the last 15 years, only the 2007-08 Boston Celtics (+10.2) finished a season with an average scoring margin of greater than +9.0. Over the last 25 years, the only other teams to produce a scoring margin of +9.0 or greater were the Bulls (1991: +9.0, 1992: +10.4, 1996: +12.3, 1997: +10.9) and the Seattle SuperSonics (1994: +9.0; ESPN.com).

On Monday night at Orlando, Chicago held the Magic to a franchise record-low 59 points (prev. 62 points versus Milwaukee, Dec. 5, 1997).

The Bulls have won five straight road games. It is the second time this season that they have won five or more in a row on the road.

With a record of 38-10 (.792), the Bulls are off to the fourth-best start in team history after 48 games played:
1995-96: 43-5 (finished 72-10, .878)
1996-97: 42-6 (finished 69-13, .841)
1991-92: 39-9 (finished 67-15, .817)

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