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Bulls Vs Kings Preview: Chicago Hopes To Avoid First Losing Streak

After receiving encouraging news that Derrick Rose has suffered no structural damage in his back, the Chicago Bulls turn their attention to the Sacramento Kings.

The Chicago Bulls finally finished up their 9-game road trip, and managed a respectable 6-3 record during their time away from home, but they still have to deal with the sour taste in their most from Sunday's loss to the Boston Celtics. Without Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo put up a dominating 32-point, 15-assist, 10-rebound triple-double and the Bulls saw their streak of road dominance end abruptly. Now they hope to avoid their first losing streak of the season when the Sacramento Kings come into town on Tuesday night.

The good news for Bulls fans is that Derrick Rose visited a back specialist who confirmed via an MRI that he is only dealing with lower back spasms and that there is no structural damage. He is listed as day-to-day and has not officially been ruled out for Tuesday's game. The bad news is that the Kings have one four of their last six games and are looking quite formidable heading into the matchup, especially if Rose is unable to go.

Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins has channeled the best of his abilities and avoided any big mental meltdowns in recent weeks, and he is the key to Sacramento's recent success. In the first matchup back on Dec. 29, Cousins shot 4-16 from the field and only scored 16 points, but he has since turned over a new leaf. SB Nation's Sactown Royalty has more on just how well he has played in the past 10 days:

DeMarcus Cousins - 20.8 PPG, .426 FG%, 12 RPG, 1 BLK, 1 STL

There just aren't enough good things we can continue to say about DeMarcus Cousins. He is blossoming before our eyes, all as a 21 year old, 2nd year player playing the most physical position in the NBA. There was only one game this week where he got taken out of his groove, in Minnesota, a night after he had played 38 minutes in New Orleans. He looked tired against the Wolves, yet still managed a double-double. It's clear that the team plays much better when he's got it going, and he's had it going more often than not the last couple of weeks. The best part about DeMarcus' growth this year is that he is nowhere near his ceiling yet. He's still got a long way to go.

Gametime: 7:00 PM CT, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012

Location: United Center, Chicago, IL

Television: WCIU

Radio: ESPN 1000 AM

For more on this game, stay with SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Bulls, head over to Blog a Bull, and for more on the Kings, visit Sactown Royalty. For more news and notes around the league, stick with SB Nation's NBA news hub.