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u2sarajevo
01-08-2007, 11:44 AM
Bulls favored by 6.

Bulls Seek to Improve East-Best Home Record, Host Rockets (http://www.nba.com/games/20070108/HOUCHI/preview.html)

Tracy McGrady is making his recent seven-game absence due to back spasms a distant memory.

He will likely need to stay at the top of his game Monday when he leads his Houston Rockets into Chicago to visit the Bulls - one of the league's best home teams.

McGrady is averaging 30.1 points in seven games since his Dec. 26 return, leading the Rockets to a 5-2 record over that span. He scored 31 on Sunday at Minnesota - his fifth straight game with at least 30 - but it wasn't enough as Houston fell 103-99 in overtime to the Timberwolves, snapping a season-high five-game winning streak.

McGrady struggled despite his point total, going 12-for-29 from the field, 5-for-10 from the free-throw line, and committing five turnovers. The Houston (21-13) star did send the game into overtime after making a driving layup with 11 seconds left.

Shane Battier finished with 20 points and Juwan Howard added 19, to round out three Rockets in double figures.

Houston attempted only 19 free throws - two in the second half - compared with 40 for Minnesota, frustrating Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy.

"That is obviously problematic," Van Gundy said. "We scored more points than them in the paint, so we were obviously going to the basket."

McGrady is averaging 21.6 points in 26 career games against the Bulls (20-14). He scored 21 in Houston's 101-100 home win over Chicago on Nov. 16 - the Rockets' seventh victory in the last eight meetings between the clubs. The last two games have been decided by one point, however.

Chicago owns the Eastern Conference's top home record at 15-3, but has lost its last three meetings with Houston at the United Center.

The Bulls avoided a third consecutive loss overall on Saturday, defeating the Pistons 106-89 while holding Detroit to just 34.8 percent shooting.

Luol Deng's 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting led the Bulls. Deng is averaging 25.6 points over his last five games.

The game was a reunion for Ben Wallace, who played six seasons with the Pistons. Despite stories of a contentious relationship between the Bulls center and his former team, Wallace warmly greeted former teammates and coach Flip Saunders.

"It was just exciting to be out there - to have an opportunity to play against those guys, talk a little trash," said Wallace, who had 12 points, 14 rebounds and a season-high six blocks. "It brings a lot of excitement."

Wallace is averaging 6.1 points and 11.3 rebounds in 16 career games against the Rockets, and will look to take advantage of the absence of Houston center Yao Ming, who is sidelined with a broken bone in his right leg.

Chicago travels to Washington to face the Wizards on Wednesday, before returning home for seven of its following nine games.

EricaLubarsky
01-08-2007, 12:27 PM
chee-cah-goh

u2sarajevo
01-08-2007, 06:08 PM
It's hard not to take the points.... but man.... I just can't bet on the Rockets.

EricaLubarsky
01-08-2007, 06:36 PM
Id rather put my money on the Denver Milwaukee game personally.

Julius
01-08-2007, 07:21 PM
I can

Windmill360
01-08-2007, 07:32 PM
chee-cah-goh
YOU'RE OUTTA THERE!!!!!!

untitled
01-08-2007, 09:41 PM
This game's turned out better than the football game. Rox up by 2 with 34.3 seconds left - Shakaka/ShawshankRedemption/Chicago has the ball.

u2sarajevo
01-08-2007, 09:52 PM
That is it.... Julius has made a deal with the vDevil.

I am not making another single vbet until Julius makes his first.... then I will vFollow suit.

dude1394
01-08-2007, 11:26 PM
The rockettes are really doing an admiral job of holding it together. That could really be a salty team if tmacs back held up.

I really like the Battier signing, wish the mavs could have gotten him.

chumdawg
01-09-2007, 01:15 AM
Didn't they trade their #1 draft pick (Rudy Gay or somesuch) for Battier?

FINtastic
01-09-2007, 02:50 AM
Yeah, they traded Rudy Gay and Stromile Swift for Battier on draft day.