NBA schedule: Bulls visit streaking Suns, Hawks host Pacers

Jonathan Daniel

On a light NBA Tuesday, Chicago will try to stop the Suns after an embarrassing loss to the Kings on Monday.

After a jam-packed Monday schedule, most of the NBA has the night off Tuesday. There are only four games, with the marquee matchup being the Bulls' visit to Phoenix.

Main course: Phoenix Suns vs. Chicago Bulls

9 p.m. ET, NBA TV

On the strength of stellar play from Western Conference Player of the Week Goran Dragic, the Suns have won their last five games. Dragic averaged 26.8 points last week, shooting 63.9 percent from the field and 69.2 percent from the three-point line. Those numbers don't even look real. His least efficient game last week was against the Indiana Pacers' stingy defense, and he still put up 28 points on 11-for-21 shooting.

Dragic will present a problem for a Chicago team that failed to contain the Sacramento Kings on Monday. The Bulls embarrassed themselves with a 99-70 loss, in which they shot a miserable 28 percent from the field to the Kings' 52 percent. Chicago had been toughing it out surprisingly well since the Luol Deng trade, but has now lost three of its last four games. If the Bulls are going to slow down the Suns, they better hope that All-Star center Joakim Noah doesn't get suspended for his expletive-filled outburst at officials in Sacramento.

Appetizer: Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers

7:30 p.m. ET

The Pacers have the league's best record at 37-10, so they have rarely slipped up against inferior teams this season. They did lose to the Hawks the first time these teams met, however, so Indiana should be out for revenge. It's no coincidence that the aforementioned loss in Atlanta was the only game that shooting guard Lance Stephenson has missed this season. Stephenson is a man on a mission these days to prove that he should have been selected as an Eastern Conference All-Star.

Paul Millsap of the Hawks will be headed to New Orleans next month, unlike Stephenson. Millsap has been carrying his team with Al Horford out of the lineup. Ironically, Millsap's worst game of the season was against the Pacers in one of Atlanta's biggest wins. He scored only four points on 1-for-10 shooting that night. Indiana's defense is phenomenal, but it'd be a surprise to see Millsap limited like that again.

Dessert: Golden State Warriors vs. Charlotte Bobcats

10:30 p.m. ET

The big news is that Kemba Walker might return from his sprained left ankle, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. The Bobcats point guard practiced with his teammates Monday and Charlotte is hopeful that he will be in the starting lineup. Somewhat surprisingly, the Bobcats have fared well without Walker, going 4-3 in his absence. They impressively managed to eke out wins over the Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets. Al Jefferson has been playing out of his mind offensively. He had 40 points in Charlotte's win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.

The Warriors' Stephen Curry is coming off a monster game himself, scoring 44 points on 14-for-26 shooting in a win over the Utah Jazz on Friday. Golden State has won three of its last four, but lost to Charlotte, 115-111, in December. Curry had 43 points that night.

The other game: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Lakers

8 p.m. ET

The Lakers have lost 18 of their last 21 games, but at least they're getting some bodies back. Steve Nash vs. Ricky Rubio is never a bad thing.

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