NBA Basketball

109
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Chicago 20 26 29 34 109
Memphis 20 26 28 33 107
107
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 CT0:00 , February 27, 2019
FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee  Attendance: 13,711

Markkanen, Bulls prepare for rematch with Grizzlies

According to STATS
According to STATS

Chicago Bulls at Memphis Grizzlies

  1. The Bulls lost their most recent game against the Bucks, snapping a season-high three-game winning streak. Chicago has won five of its last 10 games, the team's best 10-game span this season.
  2. The Grizzlies ended a four-game losing streak with a 110-105 home victory over the Lakers on Tuesday. Over its last five games, Memphis has allowed an average of 111.8 points per game. In the team's previous five games, the Grizzlies allowed just 99.4 points per game.
  3. Lauri Markkanen has scored at least 20 points in nine straight games, the longest 20-point streak by any player aged 21 or younger this season. The only other Bull in team history age 21 or younger to score at least 20 points in nine or more consecutive games is Michael Jordan.
  4. In four games with Memphis, Jonas Valanciunas has averaged 20.0 points and 10.3 rebounds, while shooting 57.6 percent from the field. The last player to average at least 20.0 points and 10.0 rebounds while shooting at least 55.0 percent in his first four games with a new team was Kevin Garnett with Boston in the 2007-08 season.
  5. Joakim Noah has scored in double figures in three straight games, the first time he has done so since another three-game streak as a member of the Bulls from February 27, 2015 -- March 3, 2015.
  6. The Bulls have won three straight games against the Grizzlies, the team's longest active winning streak against any opponent. Over those three games, Chicago has averaged 117.3 points per game, while shooting 51.0 percent from the field.

It could be termed a lost and found season for the Chicago Bulls.

While the Bulls (16-45) have already clinched a losing season, the organization has found out it can start penciling in Lauri Markkanen for big performances.

The second-year power forward looks to post his 10th consecutive outing of 20 or more points when the Bulls visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.

Markkanen has recorded seven double-doubles during a stretch in which he is averaging 26.4 points and 12.4 rebounds. He had 26 points and 12 boards in Monday's 117-106 home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

"I'm not a stat guy," Markkanen said after the contest. "I just try to get the rebound and get us off running. I think that helps the team so much."

While Markkanen doesn't like to talk about himself, coach Jim Boylen is happy to rave about the 7-footer's progress.

"Lauri's involved in so many plays, and the ball finds him. He's a big part of what we do," Boylen said after Monday's contest. "The ball is in his hands a lot, which is what we want -- it's good for us.

"There's an awareness on our team that he's a primary guy and we've got to get him the rock."

Markkanen has 15 double-doubles in 38 games this season after missing the first six weeks with an elbow injury.

Markkanen had 21 points, nine rebounds and a career-best six assists when Chicago recorded a 122-110 home win over the Grizzlies on Feb. 13.

Forward Otto Porter Jr. scored a career-best 37 points on 16-of-20 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds that night, but he is questionable to play Wednesday due to a left lower-leg strain. The status of point guard Kris Dunn (migraine) is also in doubt. Both players sat out against Milwaukee.

Memphis (24-38) ended a four-game slide on Monday by posting a 110-105 home win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Point guard Mike Conley scored 30 points and has tallied at least 25 in five of his past nine games. Conley was just 3-of-11 shooting for 12 points in the recent loss to the Bulls.

Big man Joakim Noah celebrated his 34th birthday with 14 points and 12 rebounds for his third straight double-double against the Lakers, along with a critical charge taken against LeBron James in the closing seconds. The former Chicago standout is averaging 17.3 points and 10 rebounds over the past three games.

"I'm really happy we got the win," Noah said afterward. "The energy was great. The bench was on fire. Guys played well."

Noah's recent stellar play has been reminiscent of his early years in the NBA, and new teammate Jonas Valanciunas was surprised to be asked if he has ever played with anyone who packs Noah's type of intensity.

"Uh, no. I've never played with a guy like this," Valanciunas said. "I'm happy to be part of that."

Valanciunas, who was acquired from the Toronto Raptors in the deal for Marc Gasol, had 20 points and 13 rebounds against the Lakers for his third double-double in four games with the Grizzlies.

Guard Avery Bradley, acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers at the deadline, had 15 points and has scored 15 or more in four of the past five games.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 26, 2019

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