clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bulls vs. Rockets final score : Bulls snap losing streak in Jimmy Butler's return

The Bulls snapped their four game losing streak thanks to big games by Pau Gasol and Jimmy Butler, who made a spark in his return.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Butler returned tonight and boy did the Bulls need him back on the court. Thanks to Butler and Pau Gasol, Chicago snapped their losing streak with a 108-100 win over the Houston Rockets.

Despite turning over the ball 25 times and nearly blowing the lead late in the game, Chicago was able to hold on. That was due to the Rockets going ice cold from three (9-35 for 25.7%) and their best players in Dwight Howard and James Harden getting into foul trouble. But a win is a win at this point, no matter how bad the opposition is.

The first quarter started out fantastic for the Bulls as they looked sharp in all facets of the game. They were moving the ball on offense and making plays in transition to begin the quarter. Derrick Rose looked as quick as ever in transition and is slowly showing that he is getting back to full quickness. The return of Jimmy Butler also helped the Bulls on the defensive end as they looked better on defense than they have in the past week. Heck, we even saw another Pau Gasol to Jimmy Butler alley-oop.

It also helped a lot that James Harden and Patrick Beverley picked up two fouls apiece in the first quarter. The quick start helped the Bulls to a double digit lead in the first quarter but it all changed when the starters came out. A mini run by Houston cut Chicago's lead at the end of the first quarter to 29-23.

The 2nd quarter saw the Rockets take the lead as Chicago began to pile up the turnovers and go on one of their well known offensive droughts. Clint Capela quickly had six points and two rebounds in a matter of minutes and all of a sudden, Houston took the lead early in the second quarter as Chicago went on a 2-10 field goal for the first seven minutes of the second quarter. But Houston's poor shooting from outside and foul trouble came back to bite them. Both Harden and Dwight Howard picked up their third fouls in a span of two minutes. This forced the Rockets to give guys like Michael Beasley extended minutes in the second quarter. Houston was also absolutely ice cold from three-point range as they went 0-11 from deep. The Bulls ended up going on a double digit run to give themselves another double digit lead as they walked into the half with a 55-43 Bulls lead.

Jimmy Butler led the way for the Bulls with 14 points in the first half in 21 minutes and although he showed signs of fatigue, his energy and presence seemed to spark Chicago to playing their best half of basketball in a long time.

The third quarter started on a bad note for the Bulls as Butler picked up his third foul. But Fred Hoiberg stuck with Butler and he helped the Bulls keep their double digit lead. The game stayed at the same pace until Butler picked up his fourth foul on a very questionable offensive foul call. Butler appeared to have kicked out his legs as he attempted a runner in the lane but still was bumped and created contact. Houston didn't have much luck with their foul problems as well as Harden picked up his fourth and fifth foul in the quarter. A poor pass by Pau Gasol with five seconds left that resulted in a Corey Brewer buzzer beater from three cut Chicago's lead to single digits at 83-75.

After scoring only one point in his first three quarters back, Nikola Mirotic started the 4th just right with two quick threes. Add a three by Rose to the mix and suddenly Chicago opened up a 17 point lead on Houston. Then the Rockets came back with a 7-0 run of their own to cut it back to 10 with seven minutes go. Things got interesting when Butler fouled out, for the first time in his career, with two and a half minutes left. He left with 24 points and got a standing ovation from the United Center crowd. Then James Harden hit a three and was able to draw the foul against E'Twuan Moore to cut the lead to eight. Game on. The teams then traded bad shots and turnovers for the next thirty seconds. It was a really bad game for both teams in terms of keeping the ball as the Bulls had 25 turnovers and the Rockets had 18 of their own.

Chicago really almost blew this game but they escaped with a 108-100 victory. Pau led the team with 28 points and 17 boards. Butler pitched in 24 and D-Rose added 17 points.

This was a good win for Chicago as it snapped the four game losing streak and gave some momentum heading into their game against the Bucks on Monday.