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Vitals: Bulls at Thunder

Vitals: Thunder at Bulls Vitals: Thunder at Bulls

Originally Published: Jan 26, 2010 1:39 PM CDT

Gerald Goodridge
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

Chicago Bulls (21-22) at Oklahoma City Thunder (24-20)
Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 7 p.m. CST.
Ford Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Game 45 of 82

Anticipated Starting Lineups

Oklahoma City
Chicago
PGRussell Westbrook
15.9 RPG, 7.3 APG
Derrick Rose
19.6 PPG, 5.9 APG
SGThabo Sefolosha
5.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG
Kirk Hinrich
10.1 PPG, 4.9 APG
SFKevin Durant
29.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG
Luol Deng
17.5 PPG, 7.4 RPG
PFJeff Green
14.0 APG, 6.1 RPG
Taj Gibson
8.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG
CNenad Krstic
8.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG
Joakim Noah
11.3 PPG, 12.1 RPG

Injuries...
Oklahoma City: C Nenad Krstic (thumb, day-to-day); F DJ White (thumb, out).
Chicago: C Joakim Noah (foot, day-to-day); C Brad Miller (illness, day-to-day).

Where to find it?
On TV: KSBI-HD
On Radio: Thunder Radio Network

What you need to know?
Oklahoma City’s last four losses have come by a collective five points, and the last two were buzzer-beaters. It’s been late defensive letdowns that have contributed to the Thunder’s up-and-down recent history. Despite being favored in this matchup, Oklahoma City can’t afford to look past the Bulls to Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets on Friday. After two straight losses, Oklahoma City has dropped from No. 7 in the west to No. 11 and if it don’t halt this freefall soon, it could be in danger of wasting a good start.

Chicago is coming off of a five-point win against the fading San Antonio Spurs and is in the middle of a three-game road trip through the south. The Bulls have relied on their offense all season, averaging 95.2 points per game, while allowing 98.1 points per game. Chicago has won its last three games and is beginning its climb out of the Eastern conference cellar.

Who to watch?
With every 30-point game Kevin Durant inches closer to league leaders LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony to compete for the NBA scoring title. He has more 30-point games than any other player in the league this season. The matchup of the game will between the second-year point guards Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose.

Rose continues to be the man for the Chicago Bulls, leading the team in scoring (19.6) and assists (5.9) and has continued to show that he can be an incandescent scorer. Despite being limited recently due to an injury, Joakim Noah has been a rebounding machine. He’s averaging 11.3 rebounds per game, while scoring 13.5 points per game
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