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5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CTNaN:� , March 2, 2018
United Center, Chicago, Illinois  Attendance: 21,017

Bulls host Mavs in matchup of rebuilding teams

According to STATS
According to STATS

Dallas Mavericks at Chicago Bulls

  1. The Bulls defeated the Mavericks 127-124 in Dallas on January 5. Chicago had 47 points in the fourth quarter of that game, which is the most points the Bulls have had in any quarter since they poured in 49 points in the fourth quarter of a win over Toronto on December 22, 2014. The January 5 victory also snapped Chicago's four-game losing streak in this series.
  2. The Mavericks got outrebounded 56-36 in Wednesday's overtime loss to Oklahoma City. On the season, Dallas is getting outrebounded by an average of 5.0 boards per game, which is the worst differential in the league.
  3. Chicago went 6-9 in the month of March last season. The Bulls enter this weekend having dropped their last five contests, allowing opponents to put up 116.4 points per game on 50.0 percent from the field.
  4. Harrison Barnes has scored 20 or more points in each of his last three (and in four of his last five) games versus the Bulls. Barnes enters this game coming back-to-back 20+ point performances.
  5. Bobby Portis picked up his seventh double-double off the bench this season in Tuesday's loss to the Hornets. Those seven double-doubles lead all bench players in 2017-18.
  6. Kris Dunn recorded a career-high 32 points and added nine assists and four steals in Chicago's January 5 victory over the Mavericks. But Dunn has struggled since returning from a concussion on February 14 (.345 FG%, .182 3P%, 1.06 A/TO).

CHICAGO -- With 21 games remaining in what has already been a long regular season, the Chicago Bulls are continuing to look at young players to best determine who will fit in the long run and who won't.

Coach Fred Hoiberg has never allowed his team's record to become a focal point. And although fans remain hopeful the Bulls' struggles lead to a chance at a lottery pick in this summer's NBA Draft, player development remains at the forefront for Chicago's front office.

The Bulls (20-41) will carry a five-game losing streak into Friday's matchup against the Dallas Mavericks and have dropped 13 of their past 15 as Hoiberg tried different combinations with Chicago's young stars, Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and rookie Lauri Markkanen.

The shift to giving younger players more playing time has meant that former starters Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday have been moved to the bench in order to allow Bulls executives to best determine what their future will look like.

As difficult as the losing has become, the Bulls won't dispute that they are in the necessary stages of a multiyear rebuilding process.

"For us, it's just the reality of the situation," Hoiberg told reporters recently, according to the Chicago Tribune. "We need to see which of our young players fit long term with the plan and the organization. In order to do that, you have to get quality minutes and take extended looks at young guys."

Like the Bulls, the Mavericks (19-43) are pointing toward hopefully landing a draft lottery pick and will enter Friday's game having lost seven of their past 10 games. Dallas dropped a 111-110 decision to Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.

Dallas struggled early and then couldn't get a decent look at a shot in the final seconds in a game in which the Mavericks fell behind early.

The Mavericks trailed by 14 minutes early and never recovered.

"The poor start killed us," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle told reporters after the loss, according to "That was a big part of it and then getting beat by 20 (in rebounding) is really difficult."

The loss compounded Dallas' difficulties, which gained more attention this week when Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined $600,000 by the NBA for his comments on a podcast that he thinks it's in his team's best interest to lose.

His comments were met sternly by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who said his office will pay sharp attention to how losing teams perform in the final weeks of the regular season.

Despite Cuban's comments, Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki told reporters earlier this week that he doesn't believe in Cuban's tanking mentality even during difficult stretches like the one Dallas finds itself in, having lost five of its past six games heading into Friday's game in Chicago.

"I think it's important for our young guys to learn how to compete and to compete all the time, play hard," Nowitzki told reporters this week, according to "You play your minutes hard. That's the only way to get better.

"That's the only way to play in this league, and whatever happens after the season, we'll just go from there. But for now, you play your minutes hard and you play to win."

Updated March 1, 2018

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