Rockets 82, Bulls 80
HOUSTON (AP)—What Jim Jackson’s game-winning shot lacked in form, it made up for in effectiveness.
“It was an off-balance fadeaway after he pumped. I couldn’t believe he made it,” Chicago’s Jamal Crawford said after Jackson’s 22-footer at the buzzer gave the Houston Rockets an 82-80 victory over the Bulls on Friday night.
“Losing like that, on a shot like that, is tough to swallow,” Crawford added.
Houston led 62-48 going into the fourth period as the Bulls managed only 11 third-quarter points.
Chicago outscored Houston 22-5 to open the fourth quarter and took its first lead since the first period, 70-69, with 4:42 left. Crawford had 11 points and Curry had nine during the run.
The lead changed hands five times and was tied once before a three-point play by Kelvin Cato with 1:25 left gave Houston an 80-77 advantage. A basket by Antonio Davis tied the game, 80-80, with 12 seconds left, before Jackson’s game-winning shot over Jerome Williams.
“The play was for Cuttino Mobley. We gave the ball to him and let him either create a shot or find someone open,” Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said. “It was an unselfish play by Cuttino and Jimmy knocked down a big shot.”
Jackson was expecting to have a chance.
“I know people at the end of a game like this one will be watching the ball instead of watching the man. Jerome Williams was watching Cuttino so I knew I would get the shot,” Jackson explained. “Cuttino gave it up at the right time.”
Houston opened the second half by outscoring Chicago 15-3 to move ahead 56-40.
After trailing by as many as seven, Houston scored the final 10 points of the first period to lead 26-23.
The Rockets led 32-25, their biggest lead of the first half, afterconsecutive baskets by Clarence Weatherspoon. Houston led 41-37 at the half.
: Houston is 20-9 this season when Francis has more than five assists and 8-11 when he has five or less … Houston is 22-5 when leading after the first period and 5-15 when trailing after the first period … Crawford reached double figures in scoring for 32nd time in Chicago’s last 38 games … Chicago is 1-13 on the road against Western Conference teams and 2-21 overall on theroad.