Chicago Bulls: Playoff hope alive after dominant win over Rockets

It sounds so sweet to hear for Chicago Bulls fans; this team holds a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference standings through 30 games. To get to this point, the Bulls rode an easier schedule through the month of February to currently hold a record of 14-16. First-year head coach Billy Donovan and this Bulls team have now won two games in a row following their Feb. 22 triumph on the road over the Houston Rockets. They also took down the Sacramento Kings at home at the United Center back on Feb. 20, by the final score of 122-114.

And the win for Donovan and the Bulls over the Rockets arrived on the road at the Toyota Center on the night of Feb. 22 by the final score of 120-100. The Bulls dominated that game throughout the second half. There was less than two minutes of this game that the Rockets actually had the lead.

What helped the Bulls nab this win over the Rockets was how short handed first-year Houston head coach Stephen Silas was in this outing. The Rockets were missing the likes of guard Victor Oladipo, and big men DeMarcus Cousins and Christian Wood.

The Bulls did take full advantage of a shorthanded Rockets team in this dominant 20-point win on the road. Leading the way for the Bulls in this game was second-year point guard Coby White, who came out hot with 11 points in the first quarter alone. It was the second time White scored at least 11 points in a first quarter in a game this season.

How White and the Chicago Bulls beat the Rockets

Moreover, White finished up this game with a game-high 24 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, one block, and no turnovers. And he shot an efficient 10-of-16 from the field, 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, and didn’t have any attempts from the free-throw line.

White was part of a solid effort from the Bulls starting five as a whole, alongside the likes of third-year center Wendell Carter Jr. and rookie forward Patrick Williams. WCJ had a monster game on the boards for the Bulls, which is a good sign moving forward.

In this game, WCJ registered 18 points, a game-high 13 rebounds, one assists, two steals, and three blocks. And he shot 8-of-14 from the field, had no attempts from beyond the arc, and was a perfect 2-of-2 from the free-throw line.

WCJ has played really well for the Bulls since returning from injury last week.

Moreover, what Williams gave the Bulls was another solid two-way performance that really helped the rotation as a whole. He registered 14 points, seven rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block. And Williams shot an efficient 6-of-8 from the field, 2-of-4 from beyond the arc, and had no attempts from the free-throw line.

It wasn’t the most impressive night that we’ve ever seen from star shooting guard Zach LaVine. But he still came through with 21 points, and led the Bulls among the starting five in assists. He wasn’t hot out of the gates, but gave this team what it needed in the moment to nab the win.

Following their win over the Rockets on Feb. 22, the Bulls now hold a record of 14-16. They are tied for seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings. And next up for the Bulls is a meeting with the Minnesota Timberwolves at home at the United Center on Feb. 24.