Takeaways: Alperen Sengun’s heroics for naught as Bulls edge Rockets late

As a season-long road trip of six games continues, the Rockets (18-18) have now opened it with two straight losses after Wednesday’s 124-119 overtime setback (box score) versus the Chicago Bulls (18-21).

The Bulls had one of their best nights of the 2023-24 season on 3-pointers, making 19-of-47 from distance (40.4%). Point guard Coby White led the way with 30 points and 8 assists, and he hit 6-of-11 from beyond the arc (54.5%). Going into the game, Chicago ranked among the NBA’s bottom-10 teams in both 3-point makes and accuracy.

Houston shot just 11-of-45 on 3-pointers (24.4%), headlined by an unusually cold 3-of-14 night (21.4% by Fred VanVleet. For the Rockets, it was an exhausting, gut-punch loss after rallying back from a double-digit deficit late in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

After a scoreless first half, Alperen Sengun was breathtaking with 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting (57.9%), all coming in the second half and overtime. He also dished out 9 rebounds and 5 assists, and Sengun’s flurry late in the fourth quarter and at the start of overtime gave the Rockets a 5-point lead with under three minutes left to play.

But Houston was outscored 10-0 to finish overtime, and Sengun didn’t get a shot attempt on either of the next two possessions as Chicago grabbed a lead that the home team wouldn’t relinquish.

Other Rockets in double figures included:

  • Fred VanVleet: 20 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds

  • Jabari Smith Jr.: 18 points, 15 rebounds; 7-of-14 shooting (50.0%), 4-of-9 on 3-pointers

  • Cam Whitmore: 16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals; 6-of-12 shooting (50.0%), 2-of-5 on 3-pointers (40.0%)

  • Jalen Green: 18 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds; 8-of-19 shooting (42.1%), 2-of-7 on 3-pointers (28.6%)

The Rockets were again short-handed, with Dillon Brooks (right oblique strain) and Tari Eason (left lower leg soreness) still sidelined.

Here’s our look at highlights and postgame interviews, along with reaction by media members and fans. Houston continues its road trip Friday in Detroit (3-35), where tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. Central.

Jan. 10 Rockets-Bulls reaction

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Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire