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NBA schedule: Bulls clash with Knicks and Hawks before Christmas Day showcase

The Chicago Bulls (14-10) are pushing through a difficult portion of the schedule, and the upcoming games against the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks and Houston Rockets might be the most difficult stretch yet.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls have recorded victories in five of their last seven games, but the schedule does not get any easier as the Christmas holiday approaches. After surviving a recent stretch in which they played the New York Knicks (win), Los Angeles Clippers (loss), Philadelphia 76ers (win), Brooklyn Nets (win), Memphis Grizzlies (loss) and Boston Celtics (win), the Bulls must endure another three-pack of tough opponents.

On Friday night the Bulls take on Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks in a game that will be televised nationally on NBA TV, and locally on CSN-Chicago. The Bulls knocked off the Knicks back on Dec. 8 thanks to 22-point performances from Luol Deng and Marco Belinelli, and 32.1 percent shooting overall from New York.

On Saturday they will fly from New York to Atlanta for the second game of a back-to-back against the Hawks. Atlanta currently holds the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff bracket, and they rely on great three-point shooting to take down opponents, so it will be interesting to see if the Bulls can keep pace on short rest. The game will be televised on WGN.

On Christmas Day, the Bulls will play host James Harden, Jeremy Lin and the Houston Rockets as a part of ESPN's Christmas showcase. Chicago will be the prime-time game (7 p.m. CT) that starts immediately after the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat wrap up their game, so a lot of eyes should be on Tom Thibodeau's team during the holiday celebration.

Check here for the full schedule of NBA games this weekend.