Top scorers face off in Denver-Chicago matchup

Chicago Bulls (18-21, ninth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Denver Nuggets (24-16, fifth in the Western Conference)

Denver; Friday, 9 p.m. EDT

BOTTOM LINE: A pair of the league's best scorers, Nikola Jokic and Zach LaVine, meet when Denver and Chicago hit the court. Jokic is ninth in the NBA averaging 26.9 points per game and LaVine is seventh in the league averaging 28.4 points per game.

The Nuggets are 11-8 on their home court. Denver is seventh in the Western Conference in rebounding with 44.1 rebounds. Jokic leads the Nuggets with 11.2 boards.

The Bulls are 9-7 on the road. Chicago is seventh in the Eastern Conference with 12.1 fast break points per game led by LaVine averaging 3.4.

The teams meet for the second time this season. The Nuggets won 118-112 in the last matchup on March 1. Jokic led Denver with 39 points, and LaVine led Chicago with 23 points.

TOP PERFORMERS: Jokic is averaging 26.9 points, 11.2 rebounds, 8.6 assists and 1.6 steals for the Nuggets. Jamal Murray is averaging 20.3 points and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 45.8% over the last 10 games for Denver.

LaVine leads the Bulls averaging 28.4 points and is adding 5.2 rebounds. Wendell Carter Jr. is averaging 9.1 rebounds and 9.5 points per game over the last 10 games for Chicago.

LAST 10 GAMES: Nuggets: 8-2, averaging 116.2 points, 45.8 rebounds, 27.8 assists, 7.4 steals and 4.3 blocks per game while shooting 49.8% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 105.4 points on 45.1% shooting.

Bulls: 5-5, averaging 112.5 points, 46.9 rebounds, 26.4 assists, 5.9 steals and 4.8 blocks per game while shooting 48.3% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 110.5 points on 46.7% shooting.

INJURIES: Nuggets: R.J. Hampton: out (health and safety protocols), Gary Harris: out (adductor), Monte Morris: out (quad).

Bulls: Garrett Temple: out (ankle).


The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.
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