James Harden shook off a season-low six-point performance against Utah to help the Rockets beat the Bulls, 93-89, on Wednesday night in Houston. Coming off his worst game of the year, Harden hit eight of his 14 shots and contributed five steals as Houston won its second straight game.
It was a back-and-forth battle in Texas, as the Bulls built a six-point halftime lead, only to see the Rockets rally back to take the game. A three-pointer by Toney Douglas with just over a minute left gave Houston a lead it wouldn't give up, and a flurry of late free throws preserved the win.
Harden didn't have to do it all himself. Patrick Patterson added 20 points and eight rebounds, Chandler Parsons double-doubled with 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Douglas contributed 11 points off the bench, including seven in the last minute of the game. Jeremy Lin had an off night, scoring just four points on 2-of-9 shooting and committing five turnovers. Houston turned the ball over 23 times on the night, but held on thanks to a solid night shooting, hitting 43 percent of its shots.
The slumping Bulls got a season-high 21-point performance off the bench from Nate Robinson and a double-double from Luol Deng (19 points, 10 rebounds) and Carlos Boozer (13 points, 15 rebounds). But the team had a bad night shooting, hitting just two of its 16 three-point attempts and only 11 of its 19 free throws.
Houston's next task will be slowing down the red-hot Knicks. Tipoff will be 8:00 p.m. EST on Friday night in Houston.