Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 2/9

Game 1: Wednesday, February 9th
Game 2: Tuesday, March 1st

Rockets 119

(33-24, 15-12 away)

Bulls 89

(29-25, 18-11 home)

    Coverage: CSNC

    7:30 PM ET, March 1, 2005

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    HOU 36 30 31 22119
    CHI 24 15 26 2489

    Top Performers

    Houston: T. McGrady 32 Pts, 3 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Stl

    Chicago: B. Gordon 15 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    McGrady scores 32 in 3 quarters; James shoots 11-15 FG

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Tracy McGrady and the Rockets put their mini-slump to an emphatic end.

    McGrady scored 32 points with seven assists in three quarters and Mike James added 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting to lead Houston to a 119-89 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.

    Houston won for the first time since the All-Star break, snapping a three-game losing streak. Prior to the All-Star break, they won eight straight.

    "This is pretty crucial for us. Coming off a three-game skid, we definitely wanted to come in here and start this road trip off right," McGrady said. "I think guys realize we have a crucial schedule ahead of us."

    The resurgent Bulls, in playoff contention for the first time since 1998, suffered their worst loss of the season.

    "I've been saying we've had a good amount of slippage defensively, as evidenced by the number of teams that have gone over 100 on us. Hopefully our guys will pay a little more attention to detail after this," Bulls head coach Scott Skiles said.

    Eddy Curry scored 17 points for Chicago and Ben Gordon added 15.

    Bulls rookie forward Luol Deng sprained his right ankle in the opening minutes after being fouled by McGrady. Deng is day-to-day and most likely will get an MRI on Wednesday.

    Leading 29-22 late in the first quarter, Houston increased their lead with a 23-6 run in the first half. James, recently acquired in a trade from the Milwaukee Bucks, scored nine points in the span. He hit a 3 with 3.4 seconds left in the first quarter and then had a steal and a lay-up to start the second quarter.

    Jon Barry hit a 3 for Houston to make it 46-28 and Juwan Howard capped it off with a jumper, giving Houston a 52-28 lead with 5:12 in the second quarter.

    McGrady scored 19 points in the half for Houston and James added 16 with Yao Ming on the bench. Yao picked up two early fouls and only played six minutes in the first half.

    "We shot the ball good tonight as a team. We kept them to one shot, one shot and they were done instead normally they get the offensive rebound," James said.

    Barry finished the game with 13 points for Houston. He was 3-for-4 from 3-point range. James was 4-for-5 from 3-point range.

    "Obviously we didn't have enough energy on defense, plus they were shooting lights out. They compounded it and made it worst," Gordon said. "Sometimes when we did try to play good defense they were knocking down tough shots."

    Houston opened the second half by outscoring Chicago 9-1. After back-to-back baskets by McGrady made it 75-40, Skiles subbed in five new players, drawing an ovation from the sold out crowd.

    Late in the third quarter, Tyson Chandler lost his cool and drew a technical. He made an obscene gesture in the direction of official Sean Corbin after being called for a foul.

    "It really had nothing to do with the ref. It was more of frustration for me and my teammates. I'm sorry I took it out on the ref," Chandler said.

    With the Rockets in full control, McGrady sat out the entire fourth quarter.

    Barry gave Houston their largest lead of the game with a jumper making it 111-72 with 6:39 left in the game.

    Yao finished with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting in 11 minutes.

    "To be able to get a victory by 30 and rest our guys is real nice," Barry said. "Yao plays a lot of minutes. He needs to get on a treadmill. He didn't get a workout in."

    Game notes

    The Bulls allowed their most points of the season. ... The Rockets shot 55.6 percent, the best against a Bulls' opponent this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 119 89
    FGM-FGA 45-81 (.556) 29-78 (.372)
    3PM-3PA 9-14 (.643) 2-16 (.125)
    FTM-FTA 20-21 (.952) 29-40 (.725)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-40 17-42
    Assists 29 16
    Turnovers 10 15
    Steals 8 6
    Blocks 3 1
    Fast Break Points 13 0
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (1/0) 21 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 39 2

    Top Performers

    Tracy McGrady McGrady
    Points: 32
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Ben Gordon Gordon
    Points: 15
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1