(Sports Network) - Even with Carlos Boozer in the lineup, the Chicago Bulls were no match for the top dogs of the Eastern Conference. A visit from one of the afterthoughts out West could be just what the doctor ordered, however, as Boozer and the Bulls entertain the Houston Rockets at the United Center.
Two days after being trounced by Orlando in the Windy City, the Bulls fell to Boston on Friday when Kevin Garnett scored 20 points and pulled down 17 rebounds, as the Celtics led by as many as 18 in a dominating 104-92 victory over Chicago.
The overmatched Bulls were led by Derrick Rose's 20 points and 14 points and 10 rebounds from Joakim Noah. Chicago never held a lead, losing for the fifth time in eight games.
Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau, a former Boston assistant, said his team has taken a step back defensively.
"Playing from behind. Dug a big hole. Against quality opponents you can't do that," said Thibodeau, who fell to 0-2 against his former team.
Boozer, playing in just his second game this season after missing the first 15 with a a broken right hand, scored 12 points.
The Rockets, who are still playing without center Yao Ming (ankle) and guard Aaron Brooks (ankle), won their second straight game in Memphis on Friday when Kyle Lowry poured in 28 points and dished out 12 assists, as Houston handled the Memphis Grizzlies, 127-111, at FedExForum.
Kevin Martin also scored 28 points for the Rockets, who have won six in a row against Memphis. Brad Miller, an ex-Bull, added 23 points and seven rebounds off the bench for Houston, which snapped a four-game road losing streak. The Rockets went 16-of-23 from three-point range.
"We were just terrific all night. We shot it so well from every part of the court," Rockets head coach Rick Adelman said. "We moved the ball well. In the second half I thought we did a better job defensively. But offensively, that's about as good as you can get with our shooting percentage from the floor, threes and the free throw line."
Chicago has taken four straight over Houston.
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