NBA regular season

Jalen Green, Rockets race to 7th straight win amid Bulls fracas


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Jalen Green, Rockets race to 7th straight win amid Bulls fracas

FEUD. Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan and Rockets forward Dillon Brooks are separated by referees and team officials during the third quarter.

Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Bulls veteran DeMar DeRozan delivers a hard foul on Rockets hotshot Jalen Green, leading to a larger scuffle involving Dillon Brooks

Jalen Green scored 26 points, Dillon Brooks added 23, and three reserves scored in double figures as the Houston Rockets extended their winning streak to seven games with a 127-117 victory over the visiting Chicago Bulls on Thursday, March 21 (Friday, March 22, Manila time).

Brooks shot 10-of-13 before earning an ejection as the Rockets (34-35) shot 50.5% from the floor.

Jock Landale added 17 points and 12 rebounds while Aaron Holiday tallied 15 points and Jeff Green had 14 points and 7 rebounds off the Houston bench. 

After blowing nearly all of a 19-point, second-quarter lead, Houston reclaimed control following an altercation between Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan and Brooks just before the midpoint of the third quarter with the Rockets up by nine.

DeRozan delivered a hard foul on Jalen Green at the 6:02 mark, and while Green rolled on the floor in pain, Brooks and DeRozan locked arms, leading to a larger fracas. 

Both players were ejected, and the Rockets immediately found another gear, closing the period with three-pointers from Fred VanVleet, Jeff Green, Jalen Green, and Holiday. VanVleet added a second trey during the run.

Chicago could not muster a reply in the fourth. Jalen Green followed his steal with a transition dunk for a 114-103 lead, and when the Bulls closed to within seven late, Landale corralled an offensive rebound and scored through a foul. The three-point play upped the lead to 10 with 69 seconds left.

Ayo Dosunmu scored a career-high 35 points to pace the Bulls (34-36), who had all five starters score in double figures, including Nikola Vucevic (16 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists). 

Coby White returned from a three-game injury absence and scored 13 points in 29 minutes off the bench. Chicago had won three of its previous four games.

A physical first quarter pivoted when Holiday entered. He drilled back-to-back three-pointers and added a pull-up jumper before Brooks followed with a steal and transition dunk that lifted the Rockets to a 38-24 lead with 1:11 remaining in the period. 

That surge was part of a 12-0 run that enabled the Rockets to open up a 16-point margin, one Chicago shaved to 42-28 entering the second.

After Houston pushed its lead to 50-31, Dosunmu led a Bulls comeback. He scored 13 points in the second quarter, and his step-back three-pointer pulled Chicago within 56-53 with 3:36 left in the first half. 

The Rockets missed 10-of-13 attempts from behind the arc in the period, but late three-pointers by Jeff Green and Jalen Green allowed Houston to hold on for a 68-61 halftime lead. –

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