The Houston Rockets took a 107-100 win over the Chicago Bulls tonight, extending Houston’s overall winning streak over Chicago to six games.
Houston never relinquished the lead tonight after scoring the first five points of the game. The Rockets have now gone five games this season where they have not trailed in the contest.
The Rockets, who outscored the Warriors by a 48-22 (+26) margin in the paint in the previous game, posted a 48-38 (+10) edge in the paint over the Bulls tonight.
Yao Ming recorded 28 points (9-12 FG, 10-10 FT), eight rebounds and four blocked shots. Yao had gone three prior games played without a blocked shot (1/23/09-1/31/09). Tonight also marked Yao’s second time this season to be perfect from the free throw line with at least 10 attempts: 13-for-13 at Cleveland (12/23/08).
Luis Scola had 13 points and a career-high-tying 18 rebounds (career-high-tying 14 defensive). He now has 17 double-digit rebounding performances this season after notching just 14 over his entire rookie season of 2007-08. Scola set his career high in rebounds with 18 (13 defensive) vs. Minnesota (3/26/08) and equaled that with 18 (career-best 14 defensive) vs. Indiana (11/26/08).
Tracy McGrady returned to the lineup tonight after missing the last game vs. Golden State (1/31/09) with a sprained left ankle. He notched 16 points (7-14 FG) and six assists, ending the longest active streak of consecutive 20-point games against Chicago at 15 straight, which dated back to his time with Orlando. The next closest is Denver’s Carmelo Anthony with eight consecutive 20-point performances against the Bulls.
Ron Artest finished with 10 points (5-9 FG) and six assists. Artest was also 0-for-3 from downtown, ending his streak of contests with at least one 3-point field goal made at 24 straight games he had played.
Aaron Brooks added 18 points (6-12 FG, 3-6 3FG) off the bench, giving him 25 double-digit scoring performances in 2008-09.
Luol Deng, who registered 28 points tonight, began the game with a 12-point first quarter. It marked the best opening-quarter point total by a Houston opponent since a 13-point performance by Josh Smith at Atlanta (1/3/09). Sacramento’s John Salmons also netted 13 points over the opening 12 minutes at Houston (12/19/08), which stands as the most first-quarter points by an opponent at Toyota Center this season.
Tyrus Thomas recorded 14 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and three. Thomas now has eight double-doubles on the season. Thomas also tied his season high in rebounds (previously recorded vs. Philadelphia on 12/2/08).