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Bulls 111, Rockets 87

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CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls beat the Houston Rockets at their own game on Thursday night.

The Bulls knocked down 14 of 24 shots from 3-point range and rolled to a 111-87 victory at the United Center.

Houston leads the NBA in 3-pointers attempted but made just 5 of 26 from behind the arc.

Chicago forward Mike Dunleavy scored all of his team-high 21 points in the second half. Dunleavy went to the locker room early in the second quarter with a bloody gash above his right eye after he was struck by Houston forward Chandler Parsons while successfully taking a charge.

Guard Kirk Hinrich added 19 points for the Bulls (36-29) and forward Carlos Boozer scored 18. Center Joakim Noah barely missed his third triple-double of the season, finishing with 13 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

The Bulls were pounded on Tuesday night by San Antonio, but have now won 12 of their last 13 games after a loss.

Guard Jeremy Lin led Houston (44-21) with 21 points and center Dwight Howard added 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Rockets have now lost two in a row after a stretch of winning 15 of 17 games. They will wrap up a three-game road trip at Miami on Sunday.

After suffering the gash on his forehead, Dunleavy dripped blood on the floor while running back to the bench. He got stitches, returned to the game after halftime and took a charge from Rockets guard James Harden 1:29 into the third quarter.

Dunleavy also poured in 18 points during the third quarter, hitting 7 of 11 shots from the field in the process.

Leading 50-42 at intermission, Chicago broke the game open by opening the second half with a 20-2 run. At one point, the Bulls knocked down 3-point baskets on four of five possessions, two each by Hinrich and Dunleavy. When guard D.J. Augustin made a 3-pointer, the lead was 77-48 with 2:05 remaining in the third quarter.

Boozer helped the Bulls get off to a fast start, scoring 10 points in the first quarter. Chicago jumped to a quick 18-10 advantage and never trailed.

Howard picked up a technical foul with 2:36 left in the second quarter for complaining to a referee entering a timeout.

NOTES: Houston coach Kevin McHale gave a surprisingly unbiased opinion on Thursday, plugging Chicago C Joakim Noah for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year Award. McHale’s starting center, Dwight Howard, has won it three times. “He (Noah) should be defensive player of the year,” McHale said at the morning shootaround. “They’ve been winning a lot just on his energy and effort, his kind of determination and toughness. Those are all qualities everybody appreciates.” … Houston G Patrick Beverley played an NBA game in his hometown of Chicago for the first time on Thursday. Beverley gave Howard a tour of his West Side neighborhood the day before the game. When Beverley was in high school, his Marshall team lost in the 2006 state semifinals to a Simeon squad featuring current Bulls G Derrick Rose. … The Rockets started the night with a 20-3 record against teams from the Eastern Conference, including 14-0 at home.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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