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The rematch / Bulls vs. Jaz

While the Utah Jazz were vacationing in Southern California against the Clippers, the Chicago Bulls made themselves at home in the Delta Center. The world champions spent 90 minutes watching film and practicing at the arena in preparation for Wednesday's NBA Finals rematch.

"Last time we were here we were able to get a win," Bulls forward Scottie Pippen said. "So hopefully, (and) I know we're not going to be able to live on what we did last season, we can come in here and play with a lot of confidence, play this team 48 minutes and come away with the win."It was 238 days ago, on June 11, when these teams last met in Salt Lake City. That was Game 5 of the NBA Finals when Michael Jordan shook off a bout with food poisoning to score 38 points as the Bulls defeated the Jazz 90-88. The win gave Chicago a 3-2 series advantage and helped propel the Bulls to their fifth championship.

Utah gained a measure of revenge, however, with a 101-94 victory in Chicago on Jan. 25. Wednesday's game is the final regular-season meeting between the finalists.

"Both teams execute very well from an offensive and defensive standpoint. It's just whoever outlasts the other," Pippen said. "They made the shots in Chicago, and that's what made the difference in the game. We've got to come here and play better than we did on our home court."

After Utah snapped Chicago's 38-game home winning streak against Western Conference opponents, Jordan said the Bulls needed to avenge the loss. However, he had nothing to say after the closed practice at the Delta Center - neither did coach Phil Jackson.

"We're going to take a break today, if you don't mind," Jackson said as his team caps a six-game Western road trip that has produced four wins.

The team's demeanor - pretty much everyone was smiling and in good spirits - served as a reminder that these games with Utah have nothing to do with winning a championship.

"We have to downplay it to some degree, because these games really mean nothing to us right now until we see this team again, maybe in the playoffs," Pippen said. "But it's a good measuring stick for both teams to see where we are at this stage of the season."


When: 6 p.m.

Where: Delta Center

TV: Channel 14 and TBS