Bulls

A look back at the Bulls on Christmas Day

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A look back at the Bulls on Christmas Day

The Bulls will play on Christmas Day for the 20th time in their history when they square off against the Oklahoma City Thunder tomorrow afternoon.

They've played on Christmas Day in each of the last six seasons, including this one, and sport a 12-7 all-time record.

That win percentage, for what it's worth, ranks seventh in league history (Portland's 14-3 mark tops the list).

Here's a quick look back at each of the Bulls' Christmas Day games:

2014: Chicago Bulls 113, Los Angeles Lakers 93

Pau Gasol faces his old team for the first time since signing with the Bulls, scoring 23 points and adding 13 rebounds in the blowout victory. Kobe Bryant sat out the game with various injuries, but Carlos Boozer plays in his return to Chicago and is booed, as expected. He scores 14 points.

2013: Chicago Bulls 95, Brooklyn Nets 78

In a rematch of the previous year's first round playoff series, runs of 12-0 and 21-5 help the Bulls work their way back toward .500 (11-16) after losing 13 of their previous 17 games.

2012: Houston Rockets 120, Chicago Bulls 97

Omer Asik scores 20 points and grabs 18 rebounds in his first game against the Bulls since signing with the Rockets that previous offseason. Newcomer Jeremy Lin scores 20 points, while Nate Robinson leads the Bulls with 27 points.

2011: Chicago Bulls 88, Los Angeles Lakers 87

With the lockout over, the Bulls top the Lakers on Opening Day behind a clutch shot late from reigning MVP Derrick Rose, who scores 22 points in the victory. Luol Deng limits Kobe Bryant to 28 points on 23 shots and eight turnovers.

2010: New York Knicks 103, Chicago Bulls 95

Playing on Christmas for the first time in more than a decade, the Bulls score 12 points in the fourth quarter and allow Amare Stoudemire to go for 20 points and 10 rebounds. Free agent acquisition Carlos Boozer adds 26 points and 19 rebounds but commits seven turnovers.

1997: Chicago Bulls 90, Miami Heat 80

In what would be his final Christmas Day game with the Bulls, Michael Jordan scores 24 points and grabs 11 rebounds in the win. Alonzo Mourning is limited to 23 minutes with foul trouble.

1996: Chicago Bulls 95, Detroit Pistons 83

Scottie Pippen goes for 27 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in what was, at the time, the best combined record for a Christmas Day matchup in NBA history; the Bulls were 24-3 and the Pistons were 20-5.

1994: Chicago Bulls 107, New York Knicks 104 (OT)

Scottie Pippen scores 36 points - including all seven of the Bulls' points in overtime - and grabs 16 rebounds, while Toni Kukoc comes off the bench to score 25 points in the victory. John Starks is ejected.

1993: Chicago Bulls 95, Orlando Magic 93

Toni Kukoc nails the game-winner with two seconds left, extending the Bulls' win streak to nine games. Scottie Pippen scores 28 points and grabs four steals, playing all 48 minutes.

1992: Chicago Bulls 89, New York Knicks 77

Michael Jordan dazzles the Chicago Stadium crowd with 42 points, easily outplaying Patrick Ewing, who scored 14 points on 6-for-18 shooting.

1991: Chicago Bulls 121, Boston Celtics 99

Six players score in double figures for the Bulls, who force the Celtics into 17 turnovers in the victory. Larry Bird, in what would be his final Christmas Day game, is limited to eight points and eight rebounds.

1990: Chicago Bulls 98, Detroit Pistons 86

A changing of the guard takes place, as Michael Jordan scores 37 points on the defending champs and gets revenge on a Pistons team that beat them by 21 in Detroit the previous week.

1986: New York Knicks 86, Chicago Bulls 85

Patrick Ewing's buzzer-beater caps off a massive 28-point, 17-rebound outing. Michael Jordan scores 30 points but shoots just 10 of 28 from the field as the Bulls fall to .500.

1976: Chicago Bulls 96, Kansas City Kings 91

Wilbur Holland scores 22 points to lead the Bulls to victory. 27-year-old Artis Gilmore, in his first NBA season, chips in eight points.

1972: Phoenix Suns 115, Chicago Bulls 108

The Bulls led for much of the contest, but Dick Van Arsdale's 32 points were too much for Bob Love (29 points) and Chet Walker (20 points) to handle down the stretch.

1971: Chicago Bulls 109, Portland Trail Blazers 88

Led by Bob Love's 26 points the Bulls, on their way to a franchise-record 57 wins, blow past Sidney Wicks (24 points) and the Trailblazers.

1970: Baltimore Bullets 128, Chicago Bulls 112

Bob Love pours in 42 points in a losing effort, as four Bullets tally 20 or more, led by future Hall-of-Famer Earl Monroe's 25 points.

1968: Cincinnati Royals 103, Chicago Bulls 98

Cincinnati gets 31 points from Connie Dierking and 23 from a guy named Oscar Robertson, outmatching five Bulls scorers in double figures, led by Jim Washington's 18 points. That year Robertson would lead the NBA in assists for the seventh and final time in his Hall of Fame career.

1966: New York Knicks 133, Chicago Bulls 132

The Bulls play on Christmas in their inaugural season, with Bob Boozer's 40 points leading the charge. But Walt Bellamy (29 points) and Cazzie Russell (27 points) lead a late comeback as the Knicks outscore the Bulls by nine in the final quarter.

Bulls Talk Podcast: Getting to know the Bulls Outsiders team; bold predictions for this season

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NBC Sports Chicago

Bulls Talk Podcast: Getting to know the Bulls Outsiders team; bold predictions for this season

On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, the Bulls Outsiders team of Matt Peck, David Watson, and John Sabine join Kevin Anderson to talk about the series premier of ‘Bulls Outsiders’ Thursday night. Hear about how the show came together and what they are hoping to bring to the Bulls fanbase this season. They’ll also share their bold predictions for the season including two potential end-of-season award winners from this roster.

0:15- Introduction to the Bulls Outsiders

3:15- The process of casting the show

9:45- John Sabine's Improv background and comedy's connection to basketball

11:20- What the Outsiders hope to accomplish with the show

13:00- What's great about Bulls fans

14:20- Who is their favorite Bull of all time, outside of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen

26:20- Bold on the court predcitions for the season

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

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Kris Dunn thinks Zach LaVine could be 'a good defender in this league'

Kris Dunn thinks Zach LaVine could be 'a good defender in this league'

We all know what Zach LaVine is capable of doing on the offensive side of things. But what about his defense?

It's no secret that LaVine has had his fair share of struggles on defense, but Kris Dunn thinks highly of his 23-year-old teammate and what his potential is at the other end.

"On the defensive end I just told him, 'You're as fast as me. You're more athletic than me. There's no way you shouldn't be a good defender in this league. You could be one of those guys who could be dynamic in the passing lanes because you're so athletic and fast.'" Dunn said of LaVine. "And personally, I like to score. If you get in a passing lane, that's a dunk for yourself and because you've got so much bounce that's when you get the crowd on their feet — maybe do a windmill, a 360, something.

"But I think he's been going a good job on the defensive end. It's not going to be easy. We all got to learn and I think we're all trying."

Improving his defense would obviously be a big step forward for LaVine (and the Bulls), and he knows it. 

“I think I had a lot better focus on the defensive end,” LaVine said when assessing his preseason. “I had some mistakes too, but I wanted to go out there and just really hone in on being more focused down there. I felt like I did OK with that. Still some areas I want to get better at, definitely off-the-ball I think I did a lot better than I had before.’’

LaVine and the Bulls travel to Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Thursday night in their season opener. You can watch Bulls Pre- and Postgame Live on NBC Sports Chicago before and after the game for highlights and analysis.