After being routed at home in their previous game, the Chicago Bulls are looking to take advantage of New Jersey to keep their fading playoff hopes alive.
However, it was the league-worst Nets who came out on top earlier this season in Chicago.
The Bulls will try to avoid another embarrassing loss Saturday night when the Nets visit the United Center looking for their first three-game winning streak in nearly 14 months.
Chicago (33-38) is in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, two games behind Toronto for the final postseason spot. The Bulls have faded late, though, losing 11 of 13 -- a stretch that included a 10-game slide.
They certainly didn't look like a playoff-caliber team on Thursday. Following double-digit wins over Philadelphia and Houston, the Bulls shot 32.9 percent from the floor and fell 103-74 to Miami.
It was the fewest points Chicago scored this season, and the 10th time in the last 13 games it gave up at least 100. Hakim Warrick had a team-high 14 points, but leading scorer Derrick Rose was held to 12.
Luol Deng missed his eighth straight game with a strained calf, and Joakim Noah played just over 10 minutes as he works his way back from plantar fasciitis.
"We've still got a lot of games to play," said rookie Taj Gibson, who had 12 points and 10 rebounds. "It's playoff time and teams are really hungry. Nobody's going to give us anything easy."
With 11 games remaining, the Bulls appear to have some winnable contests, which includes two left against New Jersey.
While the Nets appear to provide Chicago with a good opportunity to get back on the winning track, the Bulls lost 103-101 at home to them on Dec. 8.
Rose scored 27 points, but the team couldn't get him the ball in the final seconds. He will try to help Chicago rebound after shooting 5 of 16 from the field against the Heat. Rose is averaging 18.8 points in five career games against New Jersey.
The Nets come in looking to win three straight for the first time since a four-game run from Jan. 31-Feb. 7, 2009. After a 14-point victory over Sacramento on Wednesday, New Jersey shot a season-high 57.1 percent in a 118-110 win over Detroit on Friday.
Brook Lopez scored a career-high 37 points while Yi Jianlian added a career-best 31. With the win, the Nets eliminated any chance of finishing with the NBA's worst record. Even if New Jersey (9-63) loses its final 10 games, it can do no worse than tie the league mark for the worst record, set by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1972-73.
"It's cool, I guess," Lopez said. "Like I've been telling these guys, it's finally paying off. Hopefully, we'll continue streaking."
Lopez is averaging 29.7 points the last three games while shooting 63.5 percent. He had 25 points and 10 rebounds against the Bulls in December.