National Basketball Association
Preview
Chicago at Memphis
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, December 19, 2014
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee

After pulling off an exhilarating triple-overtime victory in San Antonio, the Memphis Grizzlies look to extend their winning streak to seven games when they host the Chicago Bulls on Friday. Memphis prevailed 117-116 on Wednesday in a wild game against the Spurs and look to avoid an emotional hangover against Chicago. The Bulls posted a 103-97 victory over the New York Knicks on Thursday and might be missing Derrick Rose (virus) for the second straight contest.

Jimmy Butler stepped up with Rose out of the lineup and scored a career-high 35 points to go with seven assists and four steals. Butler also had a solid stretch of games earlier this season when Rose was sidelined and is one of the most-improved players in the NBA. Memphis owns the best home record in the NBA at 12-1 but will be tested by a Chicago club that is one of the league’s top road teams with an 11-4 mark.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, WPWR (Chicago), SportSouth (Memphis)

ABOUT THE BULLS (16-9):
A lot of superlatives were being thrown around after the game about Butler’s play but he didn’t want any part of the praise. “I don’t want to be a star,” Butler told reporters. “I just want to be a decent role player on a really good team.” Power forward Pau Gasol is certainly impressed with Butler, saying “he’s playing extremely well, with a lot of confidence, with a lot of aggressiveness and he’s asserting himself every single game at both ends of the floor.”

ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (21-4): Center Marc Gasol had 26 points in the win over the Spurs and is averaging 23.4 points over the last five games. Power forward Zach Randolph is also playing well with five straight double-doubles and had 21 points and 21 rebounds against the Spurs – his 10th 20-20 outing over the last six seasons. Point guard Mike Conley scored a career-best 36 points last Saturday against Philadelphia and has struggled with his shot over the last two games, going 11-of-37 from the field.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Chicago is just 6-12 on the road against the Grizzlies.

2. Memphis SG Vince Carter is averaging 17 points and made 9-of-16 3-point shots over the last two contests.

3. Bulls F Taj Gibson (ankle) could miss his second straight game.

PREDICTION: Grizzlies 93, Bulls 92
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Chicago 16-9 W1 5-5 11-4 2-0 14-9 2-2 12-4
Memphis 21-4 W6 12-1 9-3 4-0 17-4 4-2 14-2
Last Meeting
Chicago Memphis
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
3/7/14 MEM 85 CHI 77 77 38 41.3 85 45 44.9
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Chicago T. Gibson 18 56.2 0
Memphis M. Gasol 18 50.0 2
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Chicago C. Boozer 8 2 6
Memphis Z. Randolph 11 2 9
Assists Player  
Chicago J. Noah 6
Memphis M. Conley 7
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Chicago J. Butler 589 50.0 187
Memphis M. Gasol 566 50.5 157
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Chicago P. Gasol 323 68 255
Memphis Z. Randolph 311 97 214
Assists Player  
Chicago J. Noah 107
Memphis M. Conley 176
Quickchart Matchup
Chicago Off vs  Memphis Defense
102.2 Points For
96.4 Points Against
45.5 FG%
43.8 FG%
44.8 Reb
43.0 Reb
Memphis Off vs  Chicago Defense
103.0 Points For
98.4 Points Against
47.0 FG%
43.5 FG%
43.0 Reb
42.6 Reb