Bulls Storm Back in 4th Quarter to Beat Rockets, 114-105.

Posted by Richard Kagan on Tuesday, January 06, 2015 with No comments
The Chicago Bulls are for real.  Monday night they took on the league's leading scorer in James Harden and the dangerous Houston Rockets and used a stirring 4th quarter rally to defeat Houston, 114-105.

The Bulls outscored Houston 19-5 in the final 3:19 of the game to tie, and take the lead.  Again, Chicago had outstanding efforts from Pau Gasol who scored 27 points and grabbed 14 boards for his 18th double-double of the season. Gasol seems to be playing his way into All-Star consideration.  And, another possible All-Star is Jimmy Butler who had 22 points and did a great job defensively on Harden, who had 20 points, below his 27.2 average per game. 

Derrick Rose had 19 points including 2 big free-throws late on secure a 107-103 lead.  Harden then missed on a 3 point attempt and Nikola Mirotic, who is making a name for himself, hit a clutch trey, to give Chicago a 110-103 advantage with 39.6 seconds remaining.  It was enough to send the Bulls fans home and happy.

Chicago did not have Mike Dunleavy who sat with an injured ankle.  But the Bulls prevailed on their home court to bring their Home record to 11-6.  They've been hot at home, winning most of the games in the past few weeks. Chicago has won 13 of 15 games to climb 6 games in front of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who lost on the road to the '76ers.

Josh Smith, newly acquired from Detroit, had 21 for the Rockets. F Donatas Moliejunas contributed with 16 points. Dwight Howard had 12 points, and 14 rebounds.

The game was back and forth until the fourth quarter when the Bulls got hot and inched away from the Rockets. Butler hit a key trey to put Chicago on top, 105-103 with less than 2:00 to go. Rose, who hasn't been shooting the ball well of late, did come through in crunch time with his 2 FT's.  The Bulls converted 27 of 30 free throws while Houston was only 3 of 5. 

"We just didn't execute down the stretch." said Josh Smith

Chicago had a moment of silence before the game for sports anchor Stuart Scott of ESPN who passed away Sunday from cancer.