Final: Houston 116 Bulls 107 ( 14-27, 9-11 at home).
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Portis: 22. Houston: Gordon and Paul each with 24.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen and Valentine each with 8. Houston: Capela: 16.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 8. Houston: Gordon and Paul each with 9.
CCI STAT OF THE GAME: 54. The Rockets attempted 54 3-point field goals making 20. The Bulls made 12. The Swirsk isn’t the brightest light bulb but simple math tells me that’s a huge advantage for the Rockets. Houston played without James Harden (hamstring). The Bulls without Niko Mirotic (stomach virus).
CCI COMMENTARY: The Bulls were down by 21 but briefly took a 3rd quarter lead before the skill and sharp shooting abilities of the Rockets took over. Ariza drilled three straight triples. The backcourt of Gordon and Paul combined for 48 points and 18 assists. Gerald Green continues his spectacular scoring run, draining four three point field goals. There were positives for the Bulls: Denzel Valentine with a solid ballgame of 19 points 8 rebounds 5 assists. Bobby Portis came off the bench and scored a team high 22. Dunn 19-4-8.
INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM: Despite giving up 116 points to a very good Houston ball club Kris Dunn felt the Bulls did improve defensively from the past four outings where the Bulls gave up an average of 124 points:
“I think when we went to a different scheme when Bobby (Portis) came in, as a unit we did a good job. It’s tough. When they’re scoring the ball at a high clip and they get their rhythm it’s hard to take shooters off their rhythm.”
LAVINE UPDATE: When the team is prepared to release an update, get the latest on Bulls.com and the Bulls social media networks.
UP NEXT: At New York, Wednesday.
NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Minnesota blew out the Cavs 127-99. LeBron James finished -39, the worst plus-minus in a game in his career. His previous worst plus-minus in a game is -34 against the Warriors in January 2016. Isaiah Thomas was ejected in the third quarter for a hit on Andrew Wiggins.
Another game, another win for the 33-8 Warriors. 124-114 over Denver. Steph Curry is just a scoring machine. 32-4-9. KD remains out.
C.J. Williams with 15 points- 8 in the 4th quarter including a 3 point field goal with 9 seconds left gave the Clippers a 108-107 win over the 10-30 Hawks who dropped to 3-19 on the road.
Domantas Sabonis with a 17-10 game as the Pacers ripped the Bucks 109-96.
DeMar DeRozan was named EC Player of the Week Monday afternoon. Monday night he validated that honor scoring 35 as the Raps beat the Nets in Brooklyn 114-113 in OT. Kyle Lowry suffered an acute back spasm and will be re-evaluated today. Former Windy City Bull, Spencer Dinwiddie scored a career high 31 points.
Anthony Davis suffered a sprained right ankle in the Pelicans three point home court win over the 21-18 Pistons. Rajon Rondo dished out 15 assists. The Pistons have lost five straight on the road and they meet the Bulls Saturday at the United Center.
The Spurs won in Sac-town as LaMarcus Aldridge scored 31 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
Always a pleasure and Go Bulls!