(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Rockets are back home briefly following a
three-game western road trip and will entertain the Chicago Bulls Wednesday
before departing the Lone Star State.
The Rockets will visit Indiana and Detroit on back-to-back nights this weekend
and went 1-2 on the previous trek. The Rockets lost to Portland to kick off
the trip, then defeated Golden State before dropping a 106-91 decision at
Sacramento on Sunday.
James Harden scored 25 points and Dwight Howard ended with 13 and 10 rebounds.
Chandler Parsons and Aaron Brooks scored 19 and 13 points, respectively, for
Houston, which had won three of its previous four games and shot a miserable
7-of-27 from 3-point range.
"No knock on Sacramento, they are a talented young team, but we're striving
for greatness. To reach greatness we have to look at the teams before us,"
Howard has recorded six straight double-doubles and 16 on the season. Harden
has scored 20 or more points in five straight games and is averaging 25.8
points per game in his last four.
Houston is 10-3 as the host this season and has an extensive infirmary list
for Wednesday. Harden (ankle), Parsons (toenail) and forward Terrence Jones
(illness) are questionable versus the Bulls and guard Jeremy Lin (back) is
listed as doubtful.
Chicago knows a thing or two about injuries and is already without former NBA
MVP Derrick Rose (knee surgery). Guard Kirk Hinrich has been bothered by a
back issue and is questionable for Wednesday.
The Bulls have two tough road games on the horizon against Houston and
Oklahoma City and have struggled to the tune of a 3-11 record in their last 14
games. They lost both home games to Toronto and Orlando, and are coming off
Monday's 83-82 setback to the Magic.
Luol Deng scored 26 points, while Mike Dunleavy and D.J. Augustin each netted
14 points. Joakim Noah added 13 to go along with eight rebounds for the Bulls,
who are winless in the last four games at home.
"We got ourselves into a little bit of a hole early," said Dunleavy. "We
fought back and battled, but we didn't make enough plays down the stretch."
Deng has been the lone bright spot lately when healthy and is averaging 25.0
points per game in his past eight. Deng is one of three players in the NBA
(Kevin Durant, Kevin Love) to post averages of at least 19.0 points, 7.0
rebounds and 4.0 assists.
Chicago, which is third in opponents' scoring (92.4 ppg), has a 3-9 road
record this season.
The Bulls lost both meetings with Houston a season ago. They have dropped
three straight overall in this series and 14 of the past 20 matchups between
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