The Rockets spoiled Lauri Markkanen‘s season debut with a 121-105 win over the Bulls on Saturday night.
James Harden lifted the Rockets past a struggling Bulls defense. The Bulls started slowly while Harden scored half of his 30 point total in the first quarter. This marks a season-worst for the Chicago Bulls with an active six-game losing streak.
Markkanen wasted no time getting back on the scoreboard, nailing the first 3-pointer he took against the Rockets. He had two of the Bulls’ eight total 3-pointers in the game. The 21-year-old sophomore finished with 10 points on 4-for-14 shooting in his first regular season game in over seven months. Along with his 10 points, were four rebounds, a block, and a steal. Markkanen came off the bench Saturday night, playing just 25 minutes in the Bulls loss.
Zach LaVine responded well to a disappointing scoring outing in Detroit Friday night as he notched 29 points. LaVine shot 11-for-17 from the field and was perfect from the stripe. He led the team in scoring yet again, but was still not enough for the offensive juggernaut that is the Houston Rockets.
Jabari Parker continued his hot streak adding his 5th double-double this season, with four of them coming in his last seven games. He finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds while shooting 8-for-15 from the floor. Although the Bull fell short, it’s good to see Parker finally getting into a rhythm.
It was the Bulls’ defense that led to their league-high 19th loss. The team allowed 121 points, with seven Rockets players finishing in double digit. It was Rockets big man Clint Capela that fueled the team on both ends of the floor. Capela had 18 points along with 15 boards in their team’s 11th win of the season. Chris Paul matched his season-high in assists with 13.
The Bulls will get two days of rest before flying to Indy for their matchup against the Pacers Tuesday night.