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Howard's big night leads Rockets past Bulls
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Dwight Howard scored 23 points on 11-of-14 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds as the Houston Rockets pulled away for a 109-94 victory over the overmatched Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.
Chandler Parsons and James Harden each scored 19 points, while Patrick Beverley and Omri Casspi contributed 15 and 11 points, respectively, for the Rockets, who shot 53.7 percent from the field en route to their fourth win in six games.
"I thought we did some good stuff offensively," said Rockets head coach Kevin McHale, who had missed the three previous games following the death of his mother.
The Bulls, losers in three straight and six of seven overall, were led by Jimmy Butler's 20 points.
"When you lose, it's not fun, but we have to keep battling," Bulls center Joakim Noah said.
Chicago was done in by a six-minute field goal drought that stretched into the fourth quarter. Houston's subsequent 17-1 flurry -- highlighted by seven points from Casspi -- turned a three-point Houston lead into an 85-66 advantage in the opening minute of the fourth.
Eight of the Bulls' 17 turnovers came in the pivotal third quarter, and the closest they came in the final period was 14 points.
Even though the Rockets essentially led wire-to-wire, it was a one-possession game for a good portion of the second quarter.
Parsons drained a 3-pointer during a 7-0 Rockets run that pushed their lead to 46-36 late in the half, and Beverley beat the halftime buzzer with another triple for a 57-46 cushion.
Howard was one rebound shy of a seventh straight double-double ... Chicago's Luol Deng had 18 points and Carlos Boozer chipped in with 17 in the loss ... Chicago has lost four straight meetings against Houston.
12/19 02:03:09 ET