Found December 25, 2012 on Fox Sports Southwest:
CHICAGO (AP) -- Omer Asik enjoyed his trip back to Chicago. And he got help from James Harden and Jeremy Lin. Asik returned to the United Center and had a double-double with 20 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Houston Rockets to a 120-97 win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night. It was his first trip to Chicago since signing with the Rockets in the offseason. "Omer is a big-time player in the middle," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "Tonight he was blocking shots, getting rebounds, and outletting the ball for us. He's got a big body and sets wide picks for us. This was a very good game for him." Harden scored 26 points and Lin added 20 points and 11 assists for Houston, which had all five starters score in double figures. Chandler Parsons scored 23 points and Marcus Morris had 10. Houston has won six of seven. The Rockets had been just 3-7 on the road entering Tuesday, but a strong second quarter turned the holiday matchup into a blowout. The Rockets outscored the Bulls 31-19 in the period to break the game open. Lin capped a 14-2 run midway through the quarter with a drive and a layup to make it 55-34. He scored 12 in the second quarter and Harden had 13. Houston led 58-41 at halftime. "We are a very young team, but are continuing to learn and believe in our system," McHale said. Nate Robinson led the Bulls with 27 points, and Marco Belinelli scored 15. Houston entered the game tops in the league in scoring at 105.4 points per game, while Chicago allowed the third-fewest in the league at 91. Houston, though, was not slowed at all. The Rockets pushed the pace and shot well against Chicago's defense. The Rockets outscored the Bulls 66-32 in the paint and 31-8 in transition. Their largest lead was 35 points. The 120 points allowed and 23-point loss were season-worsts for the Bulls. The Turkish-born Asik spent his first two years in the NBA with Chicago. He signed a three-year, 25 million offer sheet with the Rockets this summer that the Bulls did not match. He entered the game averaging 10.6 points and 11.4 rebounds, and put together perhaps his best game of the season. Asik received a round of applause when he was introduced at the beginning of the game, but the hospitality didn't last. He quickly heard jeers when he stepped to the free throw line early in the first quarter. "I'm just happy we won the game," Asik said. He added he did not think much about his return to Chicago. "He was great just rolling to the basket," Bulls center Joakim Noah said. "They played four out and one in and he was able to get a lot of easy things around the rim." Harden, fourth in the league in scoring, followed up two strong performances -- 37 points against Detroit and 45 against Atlanta -- with another strong game. He was 7 for 13 from the field and 11 for 13 from the free throw line. Houston improved to 11-2 against the Eastern Conference. The Bulls had won nine of 13 to climb into first place in the Eastern Conference's Central Division, but were flat for the second consecutive game. Chicago lost 92-75 Saturday in Atlanta. Boos came down from the United Center crowd when Asik scored to make it 82-51 in the third quarter. "If you are not right and don't have an edge, you are not going to win without the right amount of intensity," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "They completely outplayed us from the start." Chicago cut the Houston lead to 100-85 with just under eight minutes to play in the fourth quarter, but a 6-0 Rockets' run ended the rally. NOTE: Both teams have quick turnarounds for Wednesday games. The Bulls travel to Indianapolis to play the Pacers and the Rockets visit the Minnesota Timberwolves.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Omer Asik Dominates Christmas

Stat Line of the Night: Omer Asik, Houston Rockets There were plenty of great performances on Christmas day/night, but none stood out quite like Omer Asik’s.  The Houston Rocket center scolded the Bulls with 20 points, 18 rebounds (5 offensive), 3 block shots, and shot 9-13 from the field.  That is an impressive stat line, [...]

Asik burns former team as Rockets rout Bulls

CHICAGO -- Houston center Omer Asik played arguably his best NBA game Tuesday while facing his former team, leading the Rockets to a 120-97 victory over the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. The 7-foot Asik finished with 20 points and 18 rebounds, one short of his career high in both categories. The native of Turkey spent his first two seasons with the Bulls. Last summer, he...

Hot Rockets trample Bulls in Chicago

Omer Asik enjoyed his trip back to Chicago. And he received help from James Harden and Jeremy Lin. Asik returned to the United Center and had a double-double with 20 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Houston Rockets to a 120-97 win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night. It was his first trip to Chicago since signing with the Rockets in the offseason. ''Omer is a big...

Harden's late surge pushes Rockets past Wolves

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Houston Rockets know they won't always be able to outscore and outrun the opposition the way they have throughout much of December. On Wednesday night, the Rockets had to execute their half-court offense, scratch for every basket and make key plays with the game on the line. James Harden made sure that happened in Houston's 87-84 victory over the Minnesota...

Rockets 120, Bulls 97

CHICAGO -- Houston center Omer Asik played arguably his best NBA game Tuesday while facing his former team, leading the Rockets to a 120-97 victory over the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. Asik finished with 20 points and 18 rebounds, one short of his career-high in both categories. The native of Turkey spent his first two seasons with the Bulls. Last summer he signed an offer...

Rockets-Spurs Preview

The Houston Rockets' high-powered offense is firing on all cylinders of late, and they've compiled an impressive winning streak as a result. The Rockets will have to contend with another of the league's top scoring teams Friday night as they travel to San Antonio to play the Spurs, who have taken the first two meetings this season. Houston and San Antonio rank first...

Rockets Continue Winning Ways

The Houston Rockets committed 19 fouls and 16 turnovers tonight, a combination that leads most teams towards a loss. Instead James Harden decided to take the fourth quarter in the palm of his hands, and never looked back. Harden scored 17 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, proving his capability to take the youngest [...]

Rockets 87, Timberwolves 84

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Houston Rockets proved this month that they can win games with loads of points and an up-and-down pace. On Wednesday night, Houston proved it can win a half-court game as well. James Harden made sure of that. Harden scored 17 of his game-high 30 points in the fourth quarter as the Rockets rallied for an 87-84 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target...

Johnny Manziel went golfing with the Jonas Brothers

The December of Johnny Manziel continued with yet another fun celebrity-filled event. The Texas A&M freshman quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner shared a photo on Twitter Monday of himself with the Jonas Brothers following a golf outing. “Nice day on the golf course with @joejonas and @nickjonas had a great time!” Manziel wrote. The excitement seemed to be shared...

The Starting Lineup: JR Smith Does It Again!

No Melo?  No problem. Well, sort of.  The Knicks appeared to have things under control in Phoenix, where they led by double digits after a 27-15 second quarter.  That was before Jared Dudley started to sizzle from beyond the arc, though.  In a third quarter that the Knicks lost 32-22, Dudley knocked down three of his five triples.  The game remained tight down the stretch, and...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.