Gordon, Paul lead way as Rockets beat Bulls 116-107

ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 09, 2018 11:48 AM
Gordon, Paul lead way as Rockets beat Bulls 116-107
Houston Rockets' Chris Paul, front right, blocks the shot of Chicago Bulls' Bobby Portis, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

By Andrew Seligman, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Eric Gordon and Chris Paul each had 24 points and nine assists, Gerald Green scored 22 and the Houston Rockets beat the Chicago Bulls 116-107 on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time).

Trevor Ariza hit six three-pointers and scored 18 to go with nine rebounds. Clint Capela added 15 points and 16 rebounds, and the Rockets won for the third time in 10 games despite blowing a 21-point lead.

Bobby Portis led the Bulls with 22 points. Denzel Valentine and Kris Dunn each scored 19, but Chicago lost for the fifth time in six games.

With NBA scoring leader James Harden missing his fourth consecutive game because of a strained hamstring, the Rockets regained control after falling behind early in the third.

They scored eight straight to stretch a two-point edge to 10 late in the quarter and took an 87-76 lead into the fourth after Green and Paul nailed back-to-back three's. Houston was in charge the rest of the game.

Houston nearly put this one away early, going up by 21 late in the first quarter after Paul's four-point play. But the Bulls got more physical in the second and cut it to 60-55 at halftime.

The Bulls tied it on a three by Valentine to start the third and two free throws by Robin Lopez. Dunn gave Chicago its first lead since the early going, 64-62, just under three minutes into the quarter.

LAVINE MEETING

The Bulls had no update after forward Zach LaVine and his representatives met Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) with management, coaches and medical staff to set a date for his Chicago debut. Vice president of basketball operations John Paxson figures to give one when he meets with the media on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time).

Acquired along with Dunn and Lauri Markkanen in the draft-night trade that sent Jimmy Butler to Minnesota, Lavine appears ready to play for the first time since he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last February. The two-time slam dunk champion averaged 18.9 points in 47 games for the Timberwolves last season.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Houston had dropped 4-of-5 road games.

Bulls: F Nikola Mirotic missed the game because of a stomach virus that's been bothering him the past few days. Chicago coach Fred Hoiberg said Mirotic "felt much better" prior to playing 23 minutes at Indiana on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) but took a bad turn after that game. He saw a doctor on Monday. ... Hoiberg said G Cameron Payne, recovering from a broken right foot, is cleared to do "pretty much everything except jumping." Payne had surgery in September and has not played this season.

UP NEXT

Rockets: Host the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time).

Bulls: Visit the New York Knicks on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time).

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