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Jan 10, 2024 11:07 pm

Bulls can’t hold big lead, but top Rockets in OT

Coby White scored a game-high 30 points and Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic notched double-doubles to boost the Chicago Bulls to a 124-119 overtime victory against the visiting Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

Chicago led by as many as 16 on the way to its third straight victory. Outscored 56-30 in the paint, the Bulls connected on 19 3-pointers, with White drilling six. His final make from deep boosted the Bulls’ advantage to four points with 1:04 left in the extra session.

Houston fell to 0-2 on its season-long, six-game road trip. The Rockets have lost 12 of 15 away from home.

The Bulls took a 112-104 lead on LaVine’s layup with 4:15 left in regulation. The Rockets responded with the next eight points, including Fred VanVleet’s technical free throw stemming from a flopping call against DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan and Houston’s Jabari Smith Jr. both missed potential game-winning shots in the closing seconds.

Vucevic’s jumper with 3:44 left in OT snapped a Chicago scoring drought of 5:31.

Houston matched Chicago with five players in double figures. Alperen Sengun scored each of his 25 points after halftime to pace the Rockets. VanVleet had 20 points and 10 assists while Smith Jr. had 18 points and 15 rebounds.

Jalen Green had 18 points and eight assists and Cam Whitmore chipped in 16 points. The Rockets went scoreless over the final 2:50 of overtime.

LaVine had 25 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists for the Bulls. Vucevic contributed 18 points and 15 boards, while DeRozan (19 points) and Alex Caruso (12) also scored in double figures.

Torrid long-range shooting propelled the Bulls to a 62-54 halftime lead. White and LaVine drilled a trio of 3-pointers apiece to help the Bulls to a 12-for-22 effort from long range.

Houston went just 6-for-22 from beyond the arc in the first half. VanVleet led the team with 12 points.

The Bulls tied the all-time series with the Rockets at 73 victories apiece.

Dillon Brooks (oblique) missed his eighth straight game for Houston, while Tari Eason was out for the fifth game in a row with a leg injury.

–Field Level Media

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