html Scores & Statistics - The Sacramento Bee, Sacramento, California
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                === Rockets welcome wilting Bulls to Houston ===
 (  -  The Houston Rockets  are back home briefly following a
 three-game  western  road trip and  will entertain the Chicago Bulls Wednesday
 before departing the Lone Star State.
 The Rockets will visit Indiana and Detroit on back-to-back nights this weekend
 and  went 1-2  on the previous trek.  The Rockets lost to Portland to kick off
 the  trip,  then defeated  Golden State  before dropping  a 106-91 decision at
 Sacramento on Sunday.
 James Harden scored 25 points and Dwight Howard ended with 13 and 10 rebounds.
 Chandler  Parsons and  Aaron Brooks scored 19 and 13 points, respectively, for
 Houston,  which had won  three of its previous four games and shot a miserable
 7-of-27 from 3-point range.
 "No  knock  on Sacramento, they are  a talented young team, but we're striving
 for  greatness.  To reach greatness  we have to look  at the teams before us,"
 Howard said.
 Howard  has recorded  six straight double-doubles and 16 on the season. Harden
 has  scored  20 or  more points in  five straight games  and is averaging 25.8
 points per game in his last four.
 Houston  is 10-3  as the host this  season and has an extensive infirmary list
 for  Wednesday.  Harden (ankle), Parsons  (toenail) and forward Terrence Jones
 (illness)  are  questionable versus the  Bulls and  guard Jeremy Lin (back) is
 listed as doubtful.
 Chicago  knows a thing or two about injuries and is already without former NBA
 MVP  Derrick  Rose (knee surgery).  Guard Kirk Hinrich  has been bothered by a
 back issue and is questionable for Wednesday.
 The  Bulls have  two  tough road  games  on the  horizon  against Houston  and
 Oklahoma City and have struggled to the tune of a 3-11 record in their last 14
 games.  They lost  both home games to  Toronto and Orlando, and are coming off
 Monday's 83-82 setback to the Magic.
 Luol  Deng scored 26 points, while Mike Dunleavy and D.J. Augustin each netted
 14 points. Joakim Noah added 13 to go along with eight rebounds for the Bulls,
 who are winless in the last four games at home.
 "We  got  ourselves into  a little  bit of  a hole  early," said Dunleavy. "We
 fought back and battled, but we didn't make enough plays down the stretch."
 Deng  has been the  lone bright spot lately when healthy and is averaging 25.0
 points  per  game in his past  eight. Deng is one  of three players in the NBA
 (Kevin  Durant, Kevin  Love) to  post averages  of at  least 19.0  points, 7.0
 rebounds and 4.0 assists.
 Chicago,  which is  third in  opponents' scoring  (92.4 ppg),  has a  3-9 road
 record this season.
 The  Bulls  lost both  meetings with  Houston a season  ago. They have dropped
 three  straight overall in  this series and 14 of the past 20 matchups between
 the teams.
 12/18 10:39:40 ET