The final stretch of the regular season has not gone as smoothly as the Chicago Bulls had wanted.
Hoping to bounce back from their latest defeat without injured star Derrick Rose, the Bulls try to maintain their grasp on the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with a third consecutive win over the visiting Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.
Chicago's hold on the top seed and home-court advantage throughout the conference playoffs got a little looser with an 83-72 loss at Miami on Thursday to split the four-game season series between the teams.
The Bulls (47-16) have a 1 1/2-game lead over the Heat in the East, one in the loss column. Chicago has three games remaining, while Miami has four.
"Got to win, got to win," said Bulls guard Richard Hamilton, who was held to six points on 1-of-6 shooting Thursday after scoring 22 in each of the previous two contests. "Just take one game at a time. We have Dallas coming up and we have to figure out a way to win that game."
The Bulls lik...