NBA Basketball

116
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
New Orleans 34 40 14 28 116
Chicago 44 22 40 23 129
129
6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)03:0021:00 ET8:00 PM CT0:00 , February 10, 2021
United Center, Chicago, Illinois

Pelicans carry momentum into matchup with Bulls

According to STATS
According to STATS

New Orleans Pelicans at Chicago Bulls

  1. The Pelicans have won all six games over the Bulls since 2017-18, their longest active winning streak against any opponent. New Orleans had six wins over the Bulls in the previous 12 seasons combined (6-18 from 2005-06 through 2016-17).
  2. For the first time in franchise history, the Pelicans have won four straight while shooting above 50 percent from the floor in each game. They shot above 50 percent only three times in their first 19 games this season.
  3. The Bulls fell to the Wizards on Monday, 105-101, their sixth loss in their last eight. It was their 11th game decided by four points or fewer, most in the NBA, and their ninth such loss, four more than any other team (Miami, 5).
  4. Zion Williamson had 20 points and a career-high-tying seven assists in New Orleans' win over Houston on Tuesday. He has recorded five or more assists in four straight games after reaching five assists just once in his first 18 games this season.
  5. Zach LaVine dropped 35 points in Monday's loss to Washington, his 10th 30-point game of the season. Only one other Bulls player has had 10 or more games with 30+ points in the team's first 23 games of a season: Michael Jordan, who did it nine different times, most recently in 1996-97 (12).
  6. New Orleans leads the league in second-chance points per game at 17.9 and ranks second in offensive rebounds per game at 11.5 (Orlando -- 11.6). Chicago only allows 11.1 second-chance points per game, third fewest in the league.

The New Orleans Pelicans will look for their fifth win in a row -- and their second in as many nights -- when they head north to visit the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.

New Orleans is coming off a resounding 130-101 victory over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday. The Pelicans improved to 6-2 in their past eight games after starting the season 5-10.

The recent surge has quieted rumors that the Pelicans might be sellers in the trade market.

"I said to (the) guys when all that was going on that it's natural," New Orleans coach Stan Van Gundy said. "You're losing games, so people are going to say, 'Oh, shoot, they're going to blow it up.' And the rumors are going to start. If we were winning then, like we have in the last (eight), then the rumors go away. Because people will think you are happy with your team.

"I think our guys were smart enough to understand that. I've touted their resilience all year. We have had games we haven't played well, but our bounce-back has been good, and they don't get discouraged."

The latest player to step up for New Orleans was Josh Hart, who notched a season-high 20 points and a career-high 17 rebounds against Houston. Hart's emergence was particularly helpful because Zion Williamson was in foul trouble.

Williamson still finished with 20 points, seven assists and five rebounds in 21 minutes. Brandon Ingram led the team with 22 points on 9-for-13 shooting, including 3-for-5 from beyond the arc.

Chicago will aim to stop the Pelicans' progress. The Bulls are looking for a feel-good win after losing three of their last four games, including a 105-101 defeat against the visiting Washington Wizards on Monday night.

Zach LaVine continued his stellar season on offense as he scored 35 points on 12-for-26 shooting. Thaddeus Young also enjoyed a strong game, finishing with 14 points, six assists and five rebounds off the bench.

However, no other Bulls player managed to score more than 11 points. Chicago's depth was tested as big men Wendell Carter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen remained out of the lineup because of injuries.

Bulls center Daniel Gafford has moved into the starting lineup and attempted to fill the void. He is not happy with his performance, and his frustrations spilled over Monday as he picked up a technical foul.

Gafford has averaged 5.2 points and 4.9 rebounds while starting each of the past nine games.

"I've been playing -- excuse my language -- (bad), to be honest," Gafford said. "I kind of get in my own head sometimes. And when you get in your own head, you can go into a dark place, and it's hard to be able to pull yourself out of that. But luckily I've got great guys on the team that help me get out of that situation."

The Wednesday contest will be the first meeting of the regular season between the teams. Last season, the clubs met twice, with the Pelicans winning both matchups, giving them a six-game winning streak in the series. The Bulls had won each of the previous six meetings.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 10, 2021

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