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(Tuesday, December 25th)
Final Score: Houston 120, Chicago 97
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - All five Houston starters finished in double figures on Tuesday, led by James Harden's 26 points, as the Rockets routed the Chicago Bulls, 120-97, at United Center.
Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin each recorded double-doubles in the victory, Houston's fourth in a row and sixth in its last seven games.
Asik tallied 20 points and a game-high 18 rebounds, while Lin donated 20 points and 11 assists. Chandler Parsons poured in 23 points and Marcus Morris added 10 in the win.
"Our guys are starting to feel better about the style we're playing," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "We just have to keep on improving. We're still a very young team and we have a lot of ways to improve and hopefully we will."
Nate Robinson came off the bench and scored a game-high 27 points, while Luol Deng added 14 points and five boards for the Bulls, who have lost two straight.
"They did a good job of not letting us settle," Deng said of the Rockets. "They pushed the ball and got easy layups."
Chicago held a slim 8-7 lead just over three minutes in before a Morris 3- pointer sparked a 13-2 Houston spurt to give the visitors a 20-10 edge with 5:12 left in the first.
The Bulls answered with eight of the next 10 points to help trim the margin to 27-22 after 12 minutes.
Houston opened things up early in the second as Carlos Delfino, Toney Douglas and Lin each netted four points in a 12-4 start to the quarter that found the visitors holding a 39-26 advantage.
Chicago trimmed the deficit to single-digits after a quick 6-2 swing, but the Rockets responded with a 14-2 spurt to build a 55-34 cushion with just under three minutes left in the half.
The Rockets carried a 58-41 lead into the second half before opening the third with the first five points to press the lead to 22.
The lead ballooned as high as 35 late in the third and the Rockets carried a 94-68 advantage into the final frame.
Chicago got as close as 15 early in the fourth after opening the quarter on a 17-6 sprint, but the Rockets responded with the next six points to press the lead back above 20 with just under seven minutes left.
Houston has won the last three games in this series ... Houston won the rebounding battle, 45-31 and outscored the Bulls, 66-32, in the paint ... Delfino finished with seven points while Douglas added six ... Marco Belinelli finished with 15 points for Chicago.
12/26 01:46:23 ET
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