San Antonio (18-4) at Chicago (11-10)
When: Thursday, December 8th 2016
Where: United Center, Chicago, IL
Time: 9:35 ET | TV: TNT
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The Chicago Bulls will look to hand the San Antonio Spurs their first road loss of the season when the two teams meet on Thursday night. The Bulls are also trying to break a streak of their own as they have lost three-straight to fall 4.5 games behind front-running Cleveland in the Central Division. Chicago starts a three-game homestand tonight and will look to turn things around. Rajon Rondo served a one-game ban for conduct detrimental to the team during Monday’s 112-110 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. The former All-Star, who is averaging 8.3 points, 6.9 assists and 6.4 rebounds, handed out two assists in 37 minutes during Tuesday’s loss at Detroit. The Bulls took a one-point lead into the fourth quarter over Detroit, but were outscored 31-19 in the final frame and finished just 2-of-15 from 3-point territory. The Bulls have some good news as forward Doug McDermott (concussion) hopes to return on Thursday after missing the last 11 games. Chicago will host Miami and Minnesota to complete their homestand later this weekend.
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The Spurs are a perfect 13-0 away from home this season and have already won the first two on their three-game road swing. After a tough one-point win at Milwaukee on Monday, the Spurs handled the Timberwolves by 14 points the next night. Kawhi Leonard went 11-of-15 from the floor en route to 31 points in the win at Minnesota on Tuesday and coach Gregg Popovich loves it. “He knows he has a green light. We call his number now and then, but he does a lot of this stuff on his own, and he’s getting pretty good at pick-and-roll. Special, special young man.” Point guard Tony Parker missed three of the last four games and is questionable to make his return from a thigh injury on Thursday. If he can’t go, Argentinian rookie Nicolas Laprovittola will start in his absence. Laprovittola played 12 minutes in Minnesota and scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Guard Patty Mills is 2-of-12 from 3-point range in the last two games. The teams split the two-game series in each of the last three seasons.
It’s hard not to go against the Spurs on the road right now, but this is their third game in four nights away from home. I think the Bulls step up their game like they did last week against Cleveland and pull off the upset tonight.
Pick: Bulls +3