Monday , Mar , 13 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Bulls prepare for stretch run

(Sports Network) – The Chicago Bulls are still very much alive for the
playoffs, but their schedule for the rest of the month is not particularly
a stroll in the park.

In its last game on Saturday, Chicago ended a two-game losing streak with a
95-90 win over the hapless Atlanta Hawks. Luol Deng scored 21 points, while
Kirk Hinrich added 18 points for Chicago.

Deng is averaging 16.8 points over the last six games.

The Bulls, who will host Portland on Tuesday, are fighting for the eighth and
final playoff spot and are 4-4 in their last eight home games. They own a
14-17 record at the United Center this season.

After the Portland game, the Bulls will do battle with Milwaukee, which
currently holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
Miami, Washington, Indiana and Boston are also on the upcoming slate for

Forward Darius Songaila, who is out six to eight weeks with a fractured foot,
will definitely be missed. Songaila averaged 9.2 points, four rebounds, and
1.4 assists in 21.4 minutes per game this season.

Also, leading scorer Ben Gordon has been struggling lately. Gordon, who leads
the team with 16.5 points per game, is averaging 13.8 points over his last
five games. He had just seven points in the win over Atlanta.

Meanwhile, Hinrich sat out part of the second half Saturday versus the
Hawks due to a thigh bruise.

Chicago is 28-35 on the season.