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List of Articles by Kristy Gonowon



NBA -- Harden sparks Rockets past Bulls, 96-88

By Kristy Gonowon
PhilBoxing.com
05 Nov 2018



CHICAGO—The day before daylight savings time ended, the Houston Rockets rolled into the United Center Saturday night to hand the Bulls their fourth consecutive loss, 96-88.

It started out as a game against two evenly matched teams. Both teams had similar stats going into halftime with the only resounding difference being 3-point percentages: the Bulls made 6-of-11 for 54 percent, while the Rockets relied too much on the 3-pointer without much return, going 9-of-23 for 39.1 percent

The Rockets did spread the ball around a bit more than the Bulls, as guard Chris Paul and reigning Kia NBA MVP James Harden had seven and six assists, respectively. However, because the Bulls did a better job from 3-point land, they ended the half in the lead, 54-56.


Then fortunes began to change late in the third quarter for the Rockets as the reigning MVP demonstrated why he was the MVP. Harden started the surge with a 26-foot 3-pointer jump shot, followed by a rebound and a 27-foot 3-pointer step back shot. After getting fouled by Bulls Wendell Carter, Jr., Harden hit both free throws and then sank another 26-foot 3-pointer to put the Rockets ahead 71-59 with less than 4 minutes in the quarter.

“I just wanted to get out there and try to be myself. Once I got my flow back, I was good. But I’m still working it out,” said Harden.

The Rockets ended the quarter with a 15-point lead, 78-63.

“We just communicated, started getting stops” in the third quarter, said Chris Paul. “We showed them what we’re capable of when we communicate.”

Carmelo Anthony agreed. “Any time you can take it up another level after halftime, that’s always key.”

While the Bulls tried to mount a comeback with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Rockets’ lead proved to be insurmountable. However, the Rockets aren’t satisfied. The next step is consistency.

“We need to keep getting bodies back. We played pretty well. We played good enough to win tonight, but (Eric) Gordon wasn’t playing tonight. (Without him), that’s not our team,” continued Paul.

Anthony echoed Paul’s sentiments. “It’s about consistency. We’re getting guys back from injury, so we’re getting them back in to make our team.”

As did Harden. “We haven’t had a rotation set long enough to get used to it. Once we get that, it’s going to be pretty exciting. Once we get a full roster and guys into the rotation and comfortable, the sky’s the limit for us.”

Each team has Sunday off, then it’s back to work Monday, as the Bulls will face the New York Knicks in New York while the Rockets will visit the Indiana Pacers.


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