Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 1/12

Game 1: Wednesday, January 12th
Bulls91Final
Bobcats96
Game 2: Tuesday, January 18th
Bobcats83Final
Bulls82
Game 3: Tuesday, February 15th
Bobcats94Final
Bulls106
Game 4: Wednesday, March 9th
Bulls101Final
Bobcats84

Bulls 91

(25-13, 8-10 away)

Bobcats 96

(15-21, 11-9 home)

    Coverage: SSN

    7:00 PM ET, January 12, 2011

    Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHI 22 20 28 2191
    CHA 36 19 14 2796

    Top Performers

    Chicago: C. Boozer 23 Pts, 14 Reb, 1 Stl

    Charlotte: D. Augustin 22 Pts, 3 Reb, 12 Ast

    Bulls-Bobcats Preview

    STATS LLC

    Derrick Rose has helped the Chicago Bulls get off to their best start since Michael Jordan last led the franchise on a championship run.

    Rose has his chance to show the former Bulls icon his talents first-hand Wednesday night when Chicago visits the Jordan-owned Charlotte Bobcats.

    It's likely Jordan will be in his customary courtside seat when the team he helped lead to six NBA titles looks for its third straight victory and eighth in 10 games.

    Chicago (25-12) hasn't started this well since the 1997-98 season, when the Bulls opened 26-11 on their way to finishing 62-20 and winning the last of their six titles.

    Rose has blossomed into a legitimate MVP candidate, averaging 24.3 points and 8.1 assists. Utah's Deron Williams and Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook are the only other players averaging at least 20 points and eight assists.

    Rose helped the Bulls overcome a 12-point halftime deficit by scoring 29 points in a 95-82 victory over Detroit on Monday. His performance included a highlight-reel, one-handed slam off an alley-oop from Ronnie Brewer, igniting the comeback.

    "When you see somebody on the team playing with that much energy, so much intensity, it is contagious," Brewer said. "Guys want to match that level. When you see him make a dunk like that it makes you want to dive after a loose ball. It's like a snowball effect. Guys pick up off that and it builds and it builds."

    Carlos Boozer added 27 points and 11 rebounds for his 14th double-double in 22 games since returning from a broken hand. He's been particularly hot in the last three games, averaging 26.7 points and 11.3 rebounds while shooting 68.6 percent from the field.

    Good defense has keyed Chicago's last two wins, limiting Boston and Detroit to an average of 80.5 points on 38.3 percent shooting.

    However, both of those games were at home. The Bulls are looking to avoid a season-high third straight road loss after surrendering averages of 100.5 points and 52.7 percent shooting to sub-.500 teams New Jersey and Philadelphia.

    The Bobcats (14-21) are averaging 102.7 points during a season-best three-game win streak.

    They're 5-2 under interim coach Paul Silas, who took over after Jordan fired Larry Brown on Dec. 22.

    "The energy level is really going up," Silas said.

    Charlotte hopes to have more fan support Wednesday than it did in a 96-82 win over Memphis on Monday, when it played in front of a paltry home crowd due to a snowstorm which hit the area throughout the day.

    D.J. Augustin had 18 points and nine assists, and he seems to have benefited the most from the coaching change. He's averaging 19.6 points since Silas took over, compared to 12.6 under Brown.

    "We're younger and we have to play a little faster," said Stephen Jackson, who had 27 points. "The makeup of the team is different and I think now with Paul as coach the young guys have more confidence to go out there and play basketball and not worry about coming out of the game."

    Silas is hoping for the return of Gerald Wallace, who has missed four straight games and nine of 11 nursing an injured ankle.

    The Bulls have beaten the Bobcats in four of the last five meetings entering the first matchup this season, but they've lost three of four in Charlotte.

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