Derrick Rose has been shooting poorly the last two games for the Chicago Bulls and will try to find his touch Thursday in the continuation of a five-game homestand versus the Denver Nuggets.
Rose made 5-of-20 shots (25.0) for 17 points in a 92-90 win over the Indiana Pacers on Monday, then shot 2-of-15 (13.3) for four points the next night in a 96-82 loss versus the Brooklyn Nets in the opener of the homestand.
“It’s only two games,” Rose said on the team’s website. “I’m not going to stop shooting and I know when I do start knocking them down it’s going to be something different. Missed a lot of floaters, too. A lot were in and out. I don’t know what it is.”
Leading scorer Jimmy Butler was limited to eight points in the loss to the Nets and entered the game averaging 26.4 points in his previous seven games. Mike Dunleavy scored 23 points and Joakim Noah added 12 and 12 rebounds, while Pau Gasol finished with 10 points, seven boards and seven assists for the Bulls, who had a seven-game win streak halted and shot 38.4 percent.
The Central-leading Bulls are still 10-2 in the last 12 games and 8-6 at the United Center. The loss to the Nets ended a six-game home winning streak.
Chicago will also host Boston, Houston and Utah on the homestand.
Denver hopes to ring in the new year on a positive note and went 1-2 on a recent homestand. The Nuggets defeated Minnesota to open the residency, but dropped back-to-back meetings with Toronto and Los Angeles (Lakers).
In the 111-103 setback to the Lakers on Tuesday, Kobe Bryant posted a triple- double of 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the visitors. Ty Lawson and Jusuf Nurkic scored 16 points apiece and Nate Robinson recorded 13 off the bench for the Nuggets, who shot a decent 44.8 percent.
“Our first unit didn’t play with the same kind of energy as the second unit did,” Denver coach Brian Shaw said.
The Nuggets, who lost for the 11th time in 15 tries, scored 32 points off 20 turnovers, but had trouble defending the perimeter. The Lakers made 14-of-25 3-pointers.
Denver is 4-11 away from home and will try to stop a six-game road losing streak tonight in the Windy City. On the injury front for the Nuggets, forward Wilson Chandler is questionable Thursday with a bruised quadriceps.
The Nuggets are struggling on defense, allowing 104.5 ppg, and defeated the Bulls, 114-109, at home on Nov. 25. Lawson had 20 points, 12 assists and three steals, while Butler ended with 32 points and nine rebounds in that one for the Bulls, who fell to 3-9 in the last 12 games in this series.
The Nuggets are 2-6 on the road against Eastern Conference opponents.
In the second game this night Timberwolves host Sacramento Kings.