RECAP: Third-quarter explosion carries Chicago Bulls past Houston Rockets

Feb 22, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls shoots a basket ahead of David Nwaba #2 of the Houston Rockets during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Zach LaVine scored 14 of his 21 points in a runaway third quarter as the visiting Chicago Bulls rolled to a 120-100 victory over the reeling and short-handed Houston Rockets on Monday.

After missing 5 of 7 shots while scoring just seven points prior to halftime, LaVine spearheaded a scorching third period for the Bulls by shooting 5 of 5 from the floor. He scored 11 consecutive points for Chicago during one surge, leading the Bulls to a season-best 46-point frame.

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The Chicago scoring total represented the most in the third period in franchise history and the most yielded by Houston in a quarter this season.

Chicago led 54-48 entering the third, then proceeded to shoot 19 of 25 from the floor, including 7 of 9 from 3-point range. LaVine was one of five Bulls to reach double figures prior to the final period.

Chicago’s Wendell Carter Jr. recorded a double-double by halftime and finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Coby White put up 24 points and 10 rebounds while Thaddeus Young chipped in 17 points and eight rebounds. Rookie Patrick Williams scored 14 points, and Tomas Satoransky had 10. The Bulls shot 53.8 percent from the floor, including 15 of 36 (41.7 percent) on 3-point attempts.

The Rockets, playing without Christian Wood (ankle), Victor Oladipo (foot), and DeMarcus Cousins (heel), dropped their eighth consecutive game. They fashioned a spirited second-quarter rally before falling apart after the break.

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Houston erased 15-point, first-quarter deficit while extending to a 35-31 lead on an Eric Gordon trey with 8:28 to go in the second.

Chicago responded with a 19-8 run that featured 12 combined points from the interior tandem of Carter and Williams, who took advantage of the smaller Rockets in the paint.

Williams’ 3-pointer with 5:05 left in the third gave Chicago 30 points in the quarter, more than they scored in either the first or second periods.

Houston’s David Nwaba finished with 22 points and nine rebounds, and fellow reserve Sterling Brown had 16 points. John Wall paired 15 points with seven assists, and Danuel House Jr. also scored 15 points for the Rockets. Eric Gordon and Jae’Sean Tate had 13 and 12 points, respectively.

–Field Level Media