Bulls visit Sixers tonight on Comcast SportsNet

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Bulls visit Sixers tonight on Comcast SportsNet

The Bulls have had mixed results playing the second part of back-to-backs on their schedule this season, but they'll look to rebound from last night's home loss to the Clippers when they square off against Jrue Holiday and the Philadelphia 76ers tonight on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live.

Tom Thibodeau's group has played four back-to-backs in 2012, with a 2-2 record in the latter game. But tonight's will be a tough test, as last night's late 8:30 start will be a quick turnaround after the Bulls lose an hour traveling to Philadelphia. On Nov. 3, Chicago fell to Anthony Davis and the Hornets at home the night after a win in Cleveland. During their circus road trip, Chicago went from Los Angeles to Portland overnight, and fell to the Trail Blazers, 102-94. Last week, the Bulls won in Cleveland on Nov. 5 after a Nov. 4 home loss to Indiana, and turned around on Nov. 8 to beat the red-hot New York Knicks after beating the Pistons in Detroit the previous night.

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The Sixers began their home slate 4-4, but have since won three of their last four. They are just 4-4 on the road, with one of those losses coming in a Dec. 1 game in Chicago, 93-88. Another low-scoring affair should be in store tonight, as the Bulls have allowed the second-fewest points per game (91.4), with the Sixers ranking eighth in the same category (94.5).

Stopping the 23-year-old Holiday will be the Bulls' first order of business. He has exploded on the scene in his first year as the team's go-to player -- following the departure of Andre Iguodala and the injury to Andrew Bynum -- and torched the Bulls for 23 points and 7 assists in the teams' first meeting. Holiday is third in the NBA with 8.9 assists, but he's also committing 3.8 turnovers per game, the fourth-highest mark in the league. He has cut down on his miscues, averaging just 2.0 giveaways in his last five games, and committed just one turnover against Chicago, but the Bulls will need to find a way to force Holiday into situations that will allow them to get out and run.

While Rip Hamilton is out -- he scored 15 points against the Sixers earlier this month -- the Bulls have a new X-factor of sorts at their disposal. Sharpshooter Marco Belinelli has been magnificent since Hamilton's injury, averaging 19.8 points while playing a whopping 41.5 minutes over the last four games. The Bulls took just seven 3-pointers in their last meeting against the Sixers, but have attempted 15.6 shots beyond the arc the last three games. Almost half (22) have come from Belinelli, and as long as he stays in rhythm, that number should stay around the same.

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It's still early in the season, but with both teams nearly identical in the standings, the Bulls could secure the season series with a win tonight -- the two teams will play again on Feb. 28 at the United Center.

The Bulls are looking to continue their hot streak in second games of back-to-backs while the Sixers have been home since Sunday, so something's bound to give tonight at the Wells Fargo Center.

Tune into Comcast SportsNet to see if Chicago can extend its lead in the Central Division.

Dwyane Wade's near-miss of a triple-double caused by friendly Felicio fire

Dwyane Wade's near-miss of a triple-double caused by friendly Felicio fire

In a season where the triple-double has become commonplace to the point of stat chasing in the effort to chase history, Dwyane Wade didn't mind snatching his own piece of turf.

In a game where teammate Jimmy Butler reached the feat for the first time this season, it would've been doubly satisfactory for Wade to achieve the fifth triple-double of his career.

One rebound away in the final seconds of the Bulls' 117-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the memo didn't reach Cristiano Felicio, who reached over Wade to grab a rebound, causing it to harmlessly fall out of bounds and ending Wade's chance at history.

After Wade finished with 20 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in 34 minutes, he was asked if he "hated" Felicio for interrupting his moment.

"No hate. Just a strong dislike, though," said Wade with a wry smile. "You know how long it's been since I had a triple double? It's been a long time."

It's been six years, as his last triple-double came in the 2010-11 season with the Miami Heat, achieving the feat with a 22-point, 12-rebound and 10-assist performance against the then-Charlotte Bobcats on Feb. 4, 2011.

Even more than the statistical feat was Wade's variety, as he grabbed seven rebounds in the decisive third-quarter run that broke the game open, hitting Butler and Bobby Portis for long touchdown passes that would've had Jay Cutler or whichever quarterback the Cleveland Browns are banking on next fall, blushing.

Perhaps even more impressive was the fact it was on the second night of a back-to-back with the Bulls winning in overtime against the Phoenix Suns—a game where Wade turned it up late then threw it down over Alex Len in overtime.

"I think we just found our groove," Wade said. "We've had some injuries that have gone on but we're playing good basketball."

More pointedly, so is Wade, aided by him often finding Felicio for easy dunks on the pick and roll as they play second and fourth quarters together. 

Felicio was clearly bothered by his gaffe, which was made worse by the take-no-prisoners approach from Wade and Butler. When a member of foreign media approached him about an interview, Felicio said "you're not asking me about that last rebound, are you?"

Later in the evening, Felicio went to Twitter, posting "I did not know!!" in reference to Wade's night.

"I told him I didn't not even gonna act like I ain't mad at him. I'm very mad at him," said Wade with a laugh. "But he's all good. He said he didn't see me down there. So he took a shot at my height. It's cool. Jimmy had one. It would've been nice to have two triple doubles."

"I'm sure a stat would've came out that would've said, ‘Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler are the first duo to get a triple-double on a back-to-back since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen', since they got every record around here."

He was close, although Jordan and Pippen didn't achieve their feat on a back-to-back but a random night in the 1988-89 season. Jordan scored 41 with 11 assists and 10 rebounds and Pippen had 15 with 12 assists and 10 rebounds in a 126-121 overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

"We laugh about that often, but it's all good," Wade said. "I gotta work harder till I get another one one day."

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