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Bulls-Hornets Preview

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It’s been a rough 2 1/2 weeks for the slumping Charlotte Hornets, who haven’t been able to stop the bleeding.

The Hornets try to avoid a 10th consecutive loss when they host what could be a tired Chicago Bulls team Wednesday night.

Charlotte (4-14) hasn’t tasted victory since a 103-95 win at Phoenix on Nov. 14, posting just 90.1 points per game during its skid. The Hornets are looking to bounce back from their most lopsided defeat of the season, 105-75 at Atlanta on Saturday.

Rookie P.J. Hairston scored a season-high 15 points off the bench, but starting guards Kemba Walker and Lance Stephenson combined for 10 on 5-of-18 shooting. Charlotte, which trailed by as many as 44 in the third quarter, shot 33.0 percent for its worst mark in over a year.

“We’re at a point where we need a win and we’re coming into a game with that kind of mentality and we give that kind of effort, that’s never a good thing,” Gerald Henderson said. “That’s not who we want to be.”

Walker is scoring 14.0 points per game after averaging 17.7 in each of the previous two seasons. He’s also shooting what would be a career-worst 36.4 percent, the NBA’s lowest mark among qualified players. Stephenson ranks second-to-last at 36.7 percent.

The Hornets are hoping to come out refreshed following three days off.

“I think it will help us,” Walker said. “It would be tough for anyone in this situation but it’s a long year, we’re not out of anything. As long as we keep our composure, just keep staying together, staying positive, I think things will change around for us. … We definitely have to try to get that first win back under our belt, give us some confidence. (Wednesday) is a big night for us.”

Charlotte had dropped five straight and 10 of 11 to Chicago before breaking through with a 91-86 overtime win April 16. Al Jefferson is averaging 24.0 points and 11.9 rebounds in his last eight games against Chicago, and Walker is averaging 21.5 in the last four.

The Bulls (11-7) are headed back out on the road after suffering a 132-129 double-overtime loss to Dallas on Tuesday. Pau Gasol had 29 points and 14 rebounds in 50 minutes — his most since 2011 — and Jimmy Butler scored 23, but Chicago gave up the game’s final five points.

The Bulls had a chance to win it in regulation before Dallas knocked down three free throws with 1 second left. Bouncing back won’t be easy for Chicago, which is winless in its last three games that complete a back-to-back set.

Derrick Rose had 18 points on 6-of-20 shooting, adding season highs of 10 assists and seven turnovers. Rose, who banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer in the first OT, has played in five straight games after missing eight of the first 13 due to injury.

“It wasn’t good enough tonight, so we’ll bounce back as a team and see what we got tomorrow,” Rose said after playing a season-high 37 minutes. “I feel good, but who knows tomorrow. Right now, I’m just disappointed that we let this one go.”

Rose has only appeared in the second game of a back-to-back once thus far, a 114-109 loss at Denver on Nov. 25. He was limited to 10 minutes due to a tight hamstring, finishing with two points on 1-of-4 shooting.

Rose has missed nine of Chicago’s last 10 meetings against the Hornets.

Charlotte’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (foot) remains out while Marvin Williams and Gary Neal are questionable with shoulder injuries.

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