The Bulls beat the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs for the first time in almost five years on Friday night, 106-99.
Chris Duhon scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and Chicago shot 9-for-14 down the stretch to beat the Spurs for the first time since December 2000.
The Bulls had lost nine straight to the Spurs, including an overtime game earlier this month in Chicago, and had not won in San Antonio since 1998.
Gordon said the game’s outcome will be a motivator.
“It lets you know that when you go out there and play hard and play the way you’re supposed to, you can beat a Spurs or a Pistons or teams like that,” he said.
Next up for the Bulls is Houston—which is winless in four home games this season.
Houston lost its sixth in a row overall and is 0-7 this season without McGrady, who has been sidelined by back spasms.
“He’s our main guy,” Yao Ming said. “He shoots very well and passes it around and runs our offense. (Without him) teams can double-team me without any trouble. They don’t have to worry about anyone else scoring.”
Reserve Derek Anderson led six Rockets in double figures with 16 points. Yao finished with 15 points, 10 in the final period, and 12 rebounds. for Houston, which finished with 19 turnovers, leading to 20 Memphis points.
“Not to take anything away from the Grizzlies, but these are self-inflicted losses,” Rockets reserve Jon Barry said. “We turned the ball over so much.
“Everything you can imagine happening bad has happened to us.”
STANDINGS (through Nov. 25): Bulls - 5th place, 3 1/2 GB, Central Division. Rockets - 5th place, 7 GB, Southwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Bulls - Hinrich, 15.2 ppg; Chandler, 10 rpg; Duhon, 6.3 apg. Rockets - McGrady, 21.7 ppg; Yao, 8.8 rpg; Alston, 4.1 apg.
2004-05 SEASON SERIES: Rockets, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: March 1; Rockets, 119-89. At Chicago, McGrady had 32 points and Mike James added 26 as the Rockets swept the two-game season series.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bulls - 2-4 on the road; Rockets - 1-4 at home.