Bulls ( 24-49, 9-27 on the road) at Houston: ( 60-14, 30-6 at home)TV: WGN TV: Neil Funk and Stacey King. 7PM tipoff.RADIO: 670 The Score: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington, Steve Kashul. 6:45 pre.

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 16 ppg. Rockets: Harden: 30 ppg. (#1 NBA)
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 7. Rockets: Capela: 11.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 6. Rockets: Harden: 8

Season series: Houston 1-0.

LAST MEETING: January 9, 2018 at United Center:
Houston 116 Bulls 107. The Rockets blew a 21 point lead but eventually pulled away. James Harden did not play but the Rockets still managed to hoist up 54-3s making 20. Clint Cappella had a 15 point 16 rebound game. Denzel Valentine had a 19-8-5 game. Portis with 22. Markkanen 16-8.

CCI 24 SECONDS COMMENTARY: The Rockets with a franchise best 60 wins take on a Bulls club looking to end a five game slide. Will the Rockets be focused? James Harden is having a season that merits strong consideration for the MVP. Harden is such a gifted offensive player it’s ridiculous. Houston has a deep bench and this could be the year they win the whole thing. In addition to Harden and Chris Paul, a budding star is Clint Capela , the fourth year big man out of Switzerland. He leads the NBA in FG% at .655. He’s averaging 14 points, 11 rebounds and has swatted away 127 shots this year. Give me a rim protector and a guy who can finish around the rim and I will take him any day of the week.

However, both Harden and Capela will NOT play tonight. That’s taking 45 points and 24 rebounds out of your lineup.

Paul is expected to play after missing three games with a hamstring issue.

The Bulls picked up guard Sean Kilpatrick. A 6-4 combo player but probably closer to a two than a one. He had two solid years for the Nets from 2015-17 averaging 13 points per game. He was a spectacular high school player in White Plains, NY and a great star at the University of Cincinnati where he played four years and left as the second leading scorer in school history behind the legendary Oscar Robertson. He most recently served two -ten day contracts with the Clippers.


Philadelphia 123 Denver 104. Markelle Fultz returned to the court for the first time since Oct.25 with 10 points 4 rebounds, 8 assists.

Memphis stunned Minnesota 101-93. The T-Wolves are 6-7 since Jimmy Butler went down with a knee injury.

Charlotte 137 NY 128 OT. Kemba Walker was on fire scoring 11 in the extra period. Trey Burke set a career high with 42 points and dished out 12 assists . He’s the first Knicks’ guard with 40-10 numbers since Stephon Marbury in 2005. The Knicks are 27-48.

Detroit 112 Lakers 106. Drummond cleaning up the glass. Give him 18 more rebounds. Every night it seems he’s getting anywhere between 14-23 a game. Lonzo Ball flirted with a triple double of 15-8-11.

Boston 102 Phoenix 94. The Suns lost for the 56th time.

Our deepest thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Zeke Upshaw who collapsed during a G-League game for the Grand Rapids Drive. He was pronounced dead Monday afternoon.

Thanks for reading CCI. E mail me at cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter @ctsbulls.

Always a Pleasure.