Streak buster: Danuel House Jr., Christian Wood, smaller lineup lead Rockets past Bulls

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

On the same day that job speculation swirled with regards to head coach Stephen Silas and rookie Jalen Green was lost to a leg injury, the Houston Rockets pulled off their most feel-good win in quite some time.

Wednesday’s 118-113 victory (box score) over the visiting Chicago Bulls (12-7) snapped a 15-game losing streak for the Rockets and improved them to 2-16 on the 2021-22 season. It was a raucous environment in front of Houston fans at Toyota Center, allowing the home team to head into Thanksgiving with something to finally be thankful for.

The Rockets made a tactical change heading into Wednesday’s game, with Silas removing usual starting center Daniel Theis from the starting lineup (and rotation) while allowing Christian Wood to return to that position — which is where he excelled in the 2020-21 season. Jae’Sean Tate slid up to the “power forward” spot, while veteran Eric Gordon started in Tate’s usual spot at small forward. That made for a smaller lineup, but one with much improved shooting and creation ability.

Wood (16 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2-of-3 on 3-pointers) clearly benefited from the increased floor spacing, as did perimeter players who had more driving lanes. Even though he played under 11 minutes before leaving due to injury, Green scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting (80.0%), including 1-of-2 on 3-pointers (50.0%). Besides Green and Wood, other Houston players who scored in double-figures included:

  • Kevin Porter Jr.: 14 points, 5-of-13 shooting (38.5%), 2-of-4 on 3-pointers (50.0%), 9 assists, 6 rebounds, 6 turnovers in 37 minutes

  • Eric Gordon: 10 points, 4-of-9 shooting (44.4%), 1-of-3 on 3-pointers (33.3%), 2 assists in 32 minutes

  • Armoni Brooks: 11 points, 3-of-6 on 3-pointers (50.0%), 3 rebounds in 17 minutes

  • Alperen Sengun: 13 points, 4-of-7 shooting (57.1%), 2-of-3 on 3-pointers (66.7%), 4 rebounds in 16 minutes

  • Danuel House Jr.: 18 points, 6-of-7 shooting (85.7%), 4-of-4 on 3-pointers, 4 rebounds in 17 minutes

  • Garrison Mathews: 12 points, 4-of-6 shooting (66.7%), 2-of-4 on 3-pointers (50.0%), 5 rebounds in 28 minutes

House didn’t play in the first half and entered in the third quarter with Houston trailing by nine points, 68-59. He then rescued the Rockets by scoring all of his team-high 18 points in only 17 minutes.

All-Star wing Zach LaVine led the visiting Bulls with 28 points on 11-of-23 shooting (47.8%) in Wednesday’s loss, but veteran forward DeMar DeRozan was held to 17 points on only 6-of-19 shooting (31.6%).

The Rockets are set to return to action with Saturday’s game versus Charlotte (12-8), which will be the second of a three-game homestand at Toyota Center For now, they head into a two-day “Thanksgiving break” of sorts feeling good about themselves, which is a welcome change.

Related

Houston Rockets rookie Jalen Green ruled out with lower leg injury

Rockets head coach Stephen Silas looks to quiet the naysayers

List

2022 NBA mock draft roundup: Who experts see Rockets taking in first round (Nov. 23)