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Mar 21, 2024 10:50 pm

Rockets race past Bulls for seventh straight win

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Jalen Green scored 26 points, Dillon Brooks added 23 while three reserves scored in double figures as the Houston Rockets extended their winning streak to seven games with a 127-117 victory over the visiting Chicago Bulls on Thursday.

Jock Landale added 17 points and 12 rebounds while Aaron Holiday tallied 15 points and Jeff Green had 14 points and seven rebounds off the Houston bench. Brooks shot 10 of 13 before earning an ejection as the Rockets (34-35) shot 50.5 percent from the floor.

Ayo Dosunmu scored a career-high 35 points to pace the Bulls (34-36), who had all five starters score in double figures including Nikola Vucevic (16 points, 14 rebounds, six assists). Coby White returned from a three-game injury absence and scored 13 points in 29 minutes off the bench. Chicago had won three of its previous four games.

After blowing nearly all of a 19-point, second-quarter lead, Houston reclaimed control following an altercation between Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan and Brooks midway through the third period with the Rockets up by eight.

DeRozan delivered a hard foul on Jalen Green at the 6:02 mark, and while Green rolled on the floor in pain, Brooks and DeRozan locked arms, leading to a larger fracas. Both players were ejected and the Rockets immediately found another gear, closing the period with 3-pointers from Fred VanVleet, Jeff Green, Jalen Green and Holiday. VanVleet added a second trey during the run.

Chicago could not muster a reply in the fourth. Jalen Green followed his steal with a transition dunk for a 114-103 lead, and when the Bulls closed to within seven late, Landale corralled an offensive rebound and scored through a foul. The three-point play upped the lead to 10 with 69 seconds left.

A physical first quarter pivoted when Holiday entered. He drilled back-to-back 3-pointers and added a pullup jumper before Brooks followed with a steal and transition dunk that lifted the Rockets to a 38-24 lead with 1:11 remaining in the period. That surge was part of a 12-0 run that enabled the Rockets to extend to a 16-point margin, one Chicago shaved to 42-28 entering the second.

After Houston pushed its lead to 50-31, Dosunmu led a Bulls comeback. He scored 13 points in the second quarter, and his step-back 3-pointer pulled Chicago within 56-53 with 3:36 left in the half. The Rockets missed 10 of 13 attempts from behind the arc in the period, but late 3-pointers by Jeff Green and Jalen Green allowed Houston to hold on for a 68-61 halftime lead.

–Field Level Media

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