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Chicago Bulls vs. Houston Rockets recap: die by the three

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another loss

NBA: Houston Rockets at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls were outscored 36-18 in the third quarter as they fell at home to the Houston Rockets 117-94 on Saturday night.

Nobody really stood out for the Bulls, nobody scored more than 13 points. Wendell Carter Jr. came closest to starring, as he recorded his sixth double-double of the season adding 16 rebounds. Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine were both extremely inefficient from the field.

The Bulls had no answer for James Harden, who had 42 points including 9 three-pointers, hitting them no matter who the Bulls threw on him. Russell Westbrook had 26 points, mostly deferring to Harden when they shared the floor but taking over the game when his bearded teammate was on the bench.

Here are some takeaways from the game.

The Bulls weren’t going to win going 4-for-32 from deep

Against a Rockets squad that can put points on the scoreboard in a hurry, the Bulls really had no chance in this game going a paltry 4 of 32 from three point range. No player had more than one make. To be honest, at that percentage they are lucky they only lost the game by 23 points to.

The Bulls are now 1-4 in games where they’ve shot the ball 30 percent or worse and in two of the three games where they shot the ball the best from 3-point land they won. They shot 43.8 percent from deep against the Los Angeles Lakers (best of the season) and were at least competitive in that game against a really good team.

The causation isn’t provable, but for a team that isn’t very good and gives up a lot defensively, 3-point shooting may be the ticket to staying in some of these games.

Luke Kornet was still in the rotation for some reason

Chicago Bulls big man Luke Kornet is getting eaten alive defensively, and against a Rockets team that knows how to exploit slow big men it was especially bad.

In just six minutes tonight against the Rockets, he was a -9, with some really bad clip-worthy gaffes on the defensive side of the ball.

After playing at least 10 minutes in six-straight games, Kornet has played just six minutes apiece in each of the last two games as he’s slowly getting filtered out of the rotation.

Right now, what he brings offensively probably isn’t making up for the fact opponents are six points better offensively when he is on the floor. Either the Bulls need to keep Markkanen out there as a backup center, or we’ll be seeing Daniel Gafford soon.

The Chandler Hutchison experience is interesting...

With Otto Porter Jr. sidelined with a left foot injury, Hutchison got the start at the three tonight.

He had a career high 13 points on 6-for-10 from the field. The dude dunked four times tonight, had a good straight-line drive in the halfcourt that ended with a layup, and hit a 3-pointer.

To his credit, Hutchison is fearless driving to the basket and runs well in transition. But he’s a career 28.8 percent 3-point shooter and doesn’t do much in halfcourt sets. So his offensive utility is limited at least at this stage in his career.

Plenty of time to get better, but we don’t know how long Porter is out for, so he better learn fast.