National Basketball Association
San Antonio at Chicago
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
The Chicago Bulls continue to defy expectations in the face of adversity — something the ageless San Antonio Spurs know all about. The overachieving title contenders square off Tuesday in Chicago with both teams battling for higher seeds. The Spurs are clinging to a half-game lead over Oklahoma City for the best record in the Western Conference while Chicago is a half-game behind Toronto for the No. 3 seed in the East.
The Bulls won 96-86 at San Antonio on Jan. 29, sending the Spurs to a season-high third consecutive loss, but San Antonio has won 13 of 16 since including its last six. Chicago has won 11 of its last 14 and is coming off an emotional 95-88 overtime win over Miami. The Spurs are the league's best road team, boasting a 23-8 record away from home
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (San Antonio), WGN (Chicago)
ABOUT THE SPURS (46-16): San Antonio survived a sluggish effort against Orlando on Saturday, needing a second-half rally for a 121-112 victory just two nights after waxing Miami by 24. Aging stars Tim Duncan (15.5 points, 10 rebounds) and Tony Parker (17.8 points, 6.2 assists) have had a couple of days off to recharge in hopes of continuing the success they had in the first meeting with Chicago this season, in which they combined for 37 points. Center Tiago Splitter might be the most underrated bellwether for San Antonio's success — the Spurs are 17-0 when he scores in double figures.
ABOUT THE BULLS (35-28): After losing point guard Derrick Rose to knee surgery for the second straight year, Chicago traded leading scorer Luol Deng but has still managed to flourish into one of the top teams in the East. Balanced scoring has been a big reason for the Bulls' success in the face of difficulty, as six players are averaging double-digit scoring. Center Joakim Noah is making his case for MVP votes with three triple-doubles over the past month including two in a three-game span last week.
1. The Spurs are 39-9 when scoring 100 or more points but just 7-7 when failing to hit triple digits, while Chicago has allowed 100 or more only 13 times in 63 games.
2. Chicago is 24-2 when it scores at least 96 points and has won 17 straight when hitting that mark.
3. San Antonio is 36-1 when leading after three quarters and leads the league with a fourth-quarter scoring average of 27.1 points.
PREDICTION: Bulls 95, Spurs 93
Stats and Records