Chicago (23-22) at Houston (28-21)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Houston, TX
Temp: 83° F
  • Game info: 8:30 pm EST Wed Feb 9, 2005
  • TV: WCIU, FSSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Tracy McGrady is doing much more than just piling up points for the Houston Rockets. He’s helping them win.

Coming off his best week as a Rocket, the league’s two-time reigning scoring champion will try to help Houston to its season-high fifth straight victory as it hosts the resurgent Chicago Bulls at the Toyota Center.

McGrady, who became the league’s premier scorer during his final two seasons with Orlando, has finally adjusted to life with his new team after coming to Houston in the blockbuster offseason deal that sent All-Star guard Steve Francis to the Magic.

The 6-foot-8 swingman averaged 27.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists over four games to earn Western Conference player of the week honors Monday, helping Houston to a perfect 4-0 mark in the process.

On Sunday, McGrady had 21 points and seven assists as the Rockets held off the Los Angeles Lakers 103-102 for their eighth victory in 10 games overall.

“I hate games like that,” said McGrady after the Rockets blew a 16-point, fourth-quarter lead before pulling out the win. “It was a big win for us, but, like I said, I don’t like these types of games.”

Bob Sura had 19 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists and five steals for Houston, which last won four in a row from Jan. 9-15.

The surprising Bulls have already matched last season’s win total, accomplishing the feat with Tuesday’s 107-100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

Rookie Luol Deng had 30 points and 11 rebounds for Chicago, which climbed above .500 this late in the year for the first time since Michael Jordan’s final season with the team in 1997-98.

Eddy Curry added 23 points for the Bulls, who snapped a three-game losing streak overall and a 13-game skid against Dallas.

“This keeps our confidence high heading into the All-Star break,” said Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich.

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