Chuck's Daily Check In - 12.01.18

GAME NIGHT FROM HOUSTON: Bulls (5-18, 2-9 on the road) at Houston (10-11, 4-5 at home). 6:45 pre.
TV: NBC Sports Chicago - John Sadak and Stacey King 7PM
RADIO: 670 The Score - Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington, Steve Kashul. 6:45 CT pre.

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine - 24 ppg. Houston: Harden - 30 ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Carter Jr. and Parker each with 7. Houston: Capela - 11 per game.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Arcidiacono and LaVine each with 4 per. Houston: Harden - 8 per game.

LAST MEETING: November 3, 2018 at the United Center - Rockets 96, Bulls 88.
Houston has won five straight over the Bulls. James Ennis got it going early popping in three, three point field goals and scored 15 points. Ennis has essentially replaced Trevor Ariza who signed with Phoenix in the offseason. The Rockets out-scored the Bulls 21-7 in the third quarter. Wendell Carter Jr. registered a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds.

CCI PREVIEW: Both teams are facing second games of back-to-backs. The Bulls traveled from Detroit and arrived early Saturday morning. Houston played on the road but had a shorter travel schedule as they won in San Antonio. The bottom line is that it's the NBA. Period. Every team has its share of scheduling issues and teams simply have to play through it. The Rockets have lacked consistency from the season opener. The offseason acquisition of Carmelo Anthony failed to generate production and chemistry and he remains inactive. Houston is still searching for a defensive identity and with injuries and a lack of depth, the Rockets enter tonight's contest a game under .500. With a healthy Chris Paul, Houston ripped the Spurs last night. With James Harden and Paul on the floor Houston is 9-4. When one of them sits, they are 1-7.

FINAL FROM DETROIT:: Pistons 107, Bulls 88.

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Carter - 28 points. Detroit: Griffin and Jackson each with 20.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Carter Jr. - 7. Detroit: Drummond - 20
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: LaVine - 9. Detroit: Bullock - 6

CCI RECAP: Detroit jumped on the Bulls scoring 34 first-quarter points, thanks to the torrid three point shooting of Reggie Jackson, who nailed all five of his three point field goal attempts in the opening 12 minutes. Jackson finished with a career-high six made threes. The Pistons out scored the Bulls 39-9 behind the arc. For the Bulls, last night belonged to Wendell Carter Jr. Carter Jr. was brilliant as he set the tone in the third quarter scoring 15 points in the first 4:40 of the period on a variety of post up moves, going head to head with Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. Carter Jr. refused to be intimidated. He finished with a season/career high of 28 points. For good measure, Carter grabbed seven rebounds and swatted away three more shots giving him a team leading total of 38. The Pistons pressured Zach LaVine most of the night taking the ball out of his hands and to Zach's credit he managed nine assists. With Lauri Markkanen and Bobby Portis sidelined, the Bulls have really struggled on the glass as the Pistons won the battle of the boards 52-40.

CCI GAME BALLS: Bulls: Carter Jr., Holiday (career high seven assists ). Detroit: Jackson, Drummond.


Houston 136, San Antonio 105: Clint Capela with a 27-12 game. James Harden 23 points 10 assists. The Spurs got blown out for the second time in as many games. Chris Paul returned to the lineup and added 14 points and 10 assists as Houston snapped a four game slide. San Antonio is now two games under.500 for the first time since 2009. Wowza!

Denver 113, Portland 112: A big time road win for the 15-7 Nuggets, who have won 5 straight. Portland's CJ McCollum missed a game winning jumper as time expired.

Los Angeles Lakers 114, Dallas 103: The Lakers scored 36 points in the 4th quarter. The Lakers held Luka Doncic to a season low six points on 2-13 FG shooting.

Miami 106, New Orleans 101: The Heat almost squandered a 31 point lead, but got a much needed home win. Miami's bench outscored the Pelicans reserves 49-12.

Memphis 131, Brooklyn 125 2OT: Memphis' Jaren Jackson Jr. with a monster game of 36 points and 8 rebounds. He is just the fourth teenager in NBA history with at least 36 points and 8 boards. The other three: LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony. Mike Conley scored 13 of Memphis' 14 points in the second overtime.

Orlando 99, Phoenix 85: The Suns fell to 4- 18. Nikola Vucevic had another strong game posting 25-15 numbers. Phoenix played without its top two scorers, Devin Booker and TJ Warren, both out with injuries.

Boston 128, Cleveland 95: The Cavs went 3-11 in November. Big game tonight for the Celtics as they host the Raps.

Utah 119, Charlotte 111: Rudy Gobert is having a terrific year—20 points 17 rebounds as the Jazz scored 54 points off 3-pointers. Newly acquired Kyle Korver made 4-threes and scored 14 points in his second stint in a Jazz uniform.

Philadelphia 123, Washington 98: The 76ers now 12-1 at home. Philly has won three straight and seven of eight.

OKC 124, Atlanta 109: Russell Westbrook with a 23-9-10 game. Trae Young returned to Oklahoma and went 4-15 from the floor.

Washington center Dwight Howard will be sidelined at least two months after undergoing lower back surgery Friday.

OKC's Andre Roberson suffered another setback to his ailing left knee and is out for at least another six weeks.

CCI wants to congratulate Northern Illinois University on winning the MAC football championship, 30-29 over Buffalo. We wish Northwestern University all the best tonight in the Big 10 title game against Ohio State.

Thanks for reading CCI. Always a pleasure. Reach me at cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter: @ctsbulls