David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Bulls To Avoid Being Deep "Sixed" Tonight...Last Night Contenders?

There’s only one number that matters here tonight…21. Not because it’s Jimmy Butler’s number for the Chicago Bulls. Not because it’s Thaddeus Young’s number for the Philadelphia 76ers. The number 21 represents the losing streak for Philadelphia. Most experts are predicting that the 76ers will not win another game this season. I’m not so sure because…

A) This is the NBA, anyone can win on any given night.

B) I can’t believe the Sixers have no pride to allow this streak to end the season like everyone is saying.

The Bulls play Philadelphia in two of the next three games with Indiana in the middle. I’m thinking that one of these two games might be trap games for the Bulls. Everyone on ESPN seems to think that Philly’s best chance to win is against the New York Knicks. I don’t think so because…

A) The New York Knicks are red hot right now and still have an outside chance of making the playoffs.

B) Phil Jackson is the new President. Umm, I’m thinking that some of the players and a certain Head Coach will do their best for the next few games to try to impress him.

C) I’m a Knicks fan and they need to shut up! Go Knicks!

Okay, back to regularly scheduled recap. With the Bulls night off, that does not mean that games in the NBA didn’t mean playoff implications for the Bulls. A couple of games probably made a TV screen or two on NBA league pass.

#6 Washington Wizards (35-32) makes a lead disappear against the Sacramento Kings

This is bad if you are a Wizards fan. The Washington Wizards blew an eleven point lead in the 4th quarter which included a five point lead with 24 seconds left in regulation to lose an important game to the Kings 117-111. The Wizards fall behind the Brooklyn Nets who won Monday night by percentage points in the conference standings. Drew Gooden deserves some congratulations being signed on for the rest of the season. Then Gooden went out and scored 18 points to prove that it was a wise move. Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat had 19 points. Gortat also had 14 rebounds. John Wall had 14 points before fouling out in overtime. This game was an upset considering the Wizards had won 10 of 13 games and six of their last seven road games coming in. The Bulls are two games ahead in the loss column thanks to the loss.

Sacramento was led by Isaiah Thomas who had his first triple double of his career. Thomas scored 24 points with 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins had 24 points as well. Isaiah Thomas is pretty much the reason why Jimmer Fredette is in a Chicago Bulls uniform these days. Since  taking over the point guard duties Thomas has scored 20 points 42 times this season. Plus at 5’9, grabbing 11 rebounds is doing something. DeMarcus Cousins was a grown man in crunch time. He scored 12 points in the 4th quarter and seven in overtime. Throw in 12 rebounds and you are staring at the difference in the game. The Kings have beaten the Wizards four straight games at home.

#3 Toronto Raptors (37-29) loses ground to the Bulls losing to the #8 Atlanta Hawks (31-35)

This is huge for Chicago. The Bulls are one game in the loss column behind the Toronto Raptors after they lost to  the Atlanta Hawks 118-113 in overtime. Jeff Teague scored 34 points for the Hawks while Paul Millsap got his first triple double of his career. Millsap scored 19 points with 13 rebounds and 10 assists. The Hawks have now won five straight games after losing 14 of 15 games. The Hawks now have started to solidify their position in the Eastern playoff chase. The Hawks showed a lot of reserve after being down 22-9 early and battling back to tie the game at 49 at the half.

Toronto was led by DeMar DeRozan with 29 points but he made two turnovers late that hurt the Raptors chances. Kyle Lowry had 20. Toronto went three and a half minutes in overtime that cost them the game in the end.

If the Bulls win tonight, the race for the third seed in the Leastern conference gets interesting.

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