Bulls 98, Rockets 88
With Chicago on its way to a second straight win after snapping a streak of 10 losses, Vinny Del Negro was comfortable getting himself tossed out after a couple foul calls went against the Bulls.
Derrick Rose had 27 points, eight assists and seven rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 98-88 win over the Houston Rockets on Monday night.
``There were too many to make any sense of it. I have to do a better job staying in the game, but sometimes you have to get your team going and let them know the importance of this stuff,'' Del Negro said. ``I have a lot of confidence in my staff and I know the players, Kirk is a coach on the floor, Derrick Rose, so I felt comfortable. I just thought we needed to get a little bit of a fair shake at times.''
Flip Murray added 18 points and Kirk Hinrich scored 17 for the Bulls, who won back-to-back games after losing a season-high 10 in a row.
Rose helped the Bulls keep their lead in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 points and making all five of his shots.
``I have to give it all I got,'' Rose said. ``Tomorrow we don't play so, why not give it your all?''
The Rockets lost for just the second time in seven games. Luis Scola led Houston with 22 points and 10 rebounds and Kevin Martin added 19 points.
The Bulls took control with a 16-2 run that Rose capped off with a 3-pointer to give Chicago a 72-59 lead with 1:44 left in the quarter.
Even with the big lead, Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro lost his cool with the officials and got ejected for storming the court and arguing.
Del Negro was upset after Rose was called for a blocking foul that led to a three-point play for Houston's Kyle Lowery. Seconds later, Del Negro stormed the court when Taj Gibson was called for an offensive foul. Bob Delaney kicked Del Negro out after issuing two technicals. The Bulls led 72-62 when Del Negro was kicked out.
Ariza finished with 18 points for Houston and Aaron Brooks, shot 3 for 17 and finished with nine points, well outplayed by Rose.
``If there is a weakness in his game it would be his consistency on his shot,'' said ``He got 27 and it was pretty much all jump shots from the elbow or 3-pointers. He gets those down and that's why he's an All-Star.''
The Rockets mounted a comeback attempt late in the fourth.
Brooks made a 3 and Trevor Ariza followed with a layup to get Houston within 85-81 with 2:10 left. After Rose answered with a jumper, Brooks came back with a 3 to get within 87-84.
Hinrich hit a 3 to extend the Bulls lead to 92-86 with 56.2 seconds left. On Houston's next possession Kevin Martin was called for an offensive foul that killed the Rockets rally.
Houston's 3-for-22 shooting in the third quarter was what doomed the Rockets, though.
``Very disappointing the way we played in the third quarter,'' Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. ``We're not a selfish team, but we played very selfish in the third quarter.''
Houston played without defensive stopper Shane Battier. Battier sprained his left knee in Houston's victory over New York on Sunday.
An MRI on Monday revealed a sprain expected to keep him out at least 10 days.
Things got worse for the Rockets in the second half. Forward Jared Jeffries' night ended when he strained his left Achilles' tendon in the third quarter and rookie Jordan Hill was helped off the court and to the locker room after spraining his left ankle early in the fourth.
NOTES: Bulls C Brad Miller was called for a technical after slapping Houston center Chuck Hayes in the back when they were battling for a rebound in the third quarter. ... Chicago's Joakim Noah, who is slowly coming back from a foot injury, played 12 minutes and had four points and six rebounds.