Exhibition play concludes for the Bulls (7-0) on Friday night when they host the Denver Nuggets (2-4) at the United Center (7 p.m. CT | CSN | ESPN 1000). Chicago has the opportunity to go undefeated in the preseason for the fourth time in the team’s history, with the three previous times being 1989-90 (8-0), 1992-93 (9-0) and 2011-12 (2-0).
With the 104-95 victory over the Thunder on Wednesday, the Bulls continued their preseason streak of holding opponents under 100 points. It was the 17th straight game that an opponent in the preseason has failed to reach at least 100 points. The last time Chicago gave up at least 100 points in the preseason was Oct. 20, 2010, when the Bulls defeated the Raptors 110-103 in Toronto.
In the win against Oklahoma City, Derrick Rose recorded a game-high 26 points and a team-high six assists. It was the fourth game in a row that Rose has scored at least 20 points. In six preseason appearances, Rose has averaged team-highs of 21.7 points and 4.5 assists while also recording 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 26.5 minutes per game. He is shooting 50.7 percent (35-69 FG) from the field, 52.2 percent (12-23 3FG) from deep, and 81.4 percent (48-59 FT) from the charity stripe.
Rose has only played in two fourth quarters this preseason, but when the pressure was on, he played his best. While Rose finished with 26 points against the Thunder, he totaled only 13 (3-12 FG and 1-5 3FG) in the first three quarters. In the final frame, Rose scored 13 points, shooting 3-of-3 from deep and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. In the 103-98 victory over Indiana on Oct. 18, Rose tallied 32 points and in the fourth quarter helped lead the Bulls to victory by scoring 10 points (1-2 FG and 8-9 FT).
Veteran forward Luol Deng has also been a bright spot for Chicago. In the Bulls’ victory against Oklahoma City on Wednesday, Deng continued his strong preseason play by pouring in 20 points, shooting 8-15 from the field, 1-2 from beyond the arc and 3-4 from the charity stripe. In his nine NBA seasons, Deng has shot 33.4 percent (370-1108 3FG) from deep. This preseason, Deng has connected on a Bulls 2013 preseason-high of 57.1 percent (12-23 3FG) from beyond the arc.
While Jimmy Butler (left knee contusion) returned to the lineup Wednesday, Kirk Hinrich (concussion) and Joakim Noah (right groin strain) remain day-to-day for Chicago, which will open the 2013-14 regular season Tuesday in Miami.