Coby White scored 24 points, and a strong third quarter was used by the Chicago Bulls to pull away on Monday night for a 120-100 victory over the short-handed Houston Rockets.
As the Bulls outscored the Rockets by 20 points in the quarter to crack open a close game, Zach LaVine scored 14 of Chicago’s 46 third-quarter points, finishing with 21.
“He’s an efficient scorer because he scores not taking a lot of shots,” coach Billy Donovan said of LaVine, who made 4 of 6 3s on Tuesday. “When he lets it go from behind the line you feel like it’s going in.”
In the third quarter, Chicago had runs of 15-4 and 12-0. Houston missed four shots during the second burst, two of which were air balls, and had a turnover.
Houston coach Stephen Silas said the breakthrough quarter for LaVine was pivotal.
“I think him getting hot caused some adversity that we didn’t handle correctly,” Silas said. “We have at times succumbed to that adversity and let them do what they want to do and that was the case tonight.”
To lead Houston, which has lost eight straight, David Nwaba scored 22 points off the bench. Because of a winter storm and subsequent utility outages in the Houston area, the Rockets had their previous two games postponed.
“It got away from us as far as our defensive principles, our chemistry, our togetherness,” Silas said. “All of the things that you need to compete in an NBA game we didn’t have tonight.”
Since Feb. 5, the Rockets have been without center Christian Wood, and DeMarcus Cousins, who was filling in for him, sat out with a sore right heel Monday. With a strained right foot, Victor Oladipo remained sidelined.
With 13 rebounds, Wendell Carter Jr. scored 18 points for the Bulls, who have won four of their last five.