Houston Rockets vs. Chicago Bulls Preview and Predictions 11-09-2019

The Houston Rockets had little trouble pounding a depleted Golden State Warriors squad on Wednesday and are developing a rhythm as they prepare for a two-game road trip. James Harden, Russell Westbrook and the Rockets will try to continue to get comfortable with each other when they visit the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.

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Houston made one of the biggest moves of the offseason by trading for Westbrook to pair alongside Harden in the backcourt and the two high-usage superstars are having more trouble helping the team on the defensive end than finding a way to divide up the shots on offense. The Rockets are 29th in the league in scoring defense entering play on Friday, allowing an average of 121.8 points, but were solid on the defensive end while beating Memphis 107-100 on Monday and limited the Warriors to 39.6 percent shooting in Wednesday's win. The Bulls won't test that Houston defense with the most explosive offense in the league but are taking some steps forward and shot 50 percent from the floor in a 113-93 triumph at Atlanta on Wednesday, one day after squandering a big lead in a home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. "I think we were all frustrated the way the last game went, but this league is all about that," Chicago swingman Tomas Satoransky told reporters. "We almost beat one of the best teams, playing 36 minutes of good basketball. Then you have to bounce back in another city. I think we did that today and hopefully this can be a turnaround game for us."

TV: 8 p.m. ET, AT&T SportsNet Southwest (Houston), NBCS Chicago-plus

ABOUT THE ROCKETS (5-3): Harden has yet to see a decline in scoring while playing with Westbrook and leads the league at an average of 36.5 points. The superstar posted his second consecutive double-double with 36 points and 13 assists in Wednesday's triumph while Westbrook collected 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists, but Houston is still working on getting its defense to play with consistent effort. "It's just a matter of heart," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni told reporters, "and will and communication and getting it done. We can't make adjustments until they play as hard as they can."

ABOUT THE BULLS (3-6): Satoransky delivered a career-high 27 points in Wednesday's win to go with eight assists and seven rebounds and feels like Chicago is moving in the right direction. "We are trying to get there," Satoransly told reporters. "This definitely helps get you in the direction you want to be. ... You just keep going. We are trying to figure it out as soon as possible. We are in a good direction now." Power forward Lauri Markkanen shot under 50 percent from the floor in seven consecutive games before scoring 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including a season-best 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, in Wednesday's victory.


1. Bulls SF Otto Porter Jr. (foot) left Wednesday's game and is questionable.

2. Rockets SG Eric Gordon (hamstring) sat out Wednesday and is day-to-day.

3. Houston is riding a six-game winning streak in the series.


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Last Injuries

Chicago Bulls

  • Cristiano Felicio

    Early Jan | out

    Felicio suffered a non-displaced fracture of the trapezoid bone in his right wrist, and it is expected that he will be out four to eight weeks.

  • Zach LaVine

    Prob Thurs | probable

    LaVine is expected to face the Bucks on Thursday despite a right ankle sprain.

  • Otto Porter Jr.

    Out indefinitely | out

    Porter is sidelined with a left foot sprain. There is no timetable for return.

  • Wendell Carter Jr.

    Prob Thurs | probable

    Carter Jr. is projected to suit up Thursday against the Bucks despite a left thumb sprain.

  • Lauri Markkanen

    Prob Tues | probable

    Markkanen is dealing with a sore oblique but is expected to play Tuesday versus the Knicks.

  • Wendell Carter Jr.

    Prob Tues | probable

    Carter Jr. is projected to suit up against the Knicks on Tuesday despite a left thumb strain.

  • Wendell Carter Jr.

    Prob Sat | probable

    Carter Jr. is tending to a left thumb sprain but is expected to face the Rockets on Saturday.

  • Wendell Carter Jr.

    Prob Wed | probable

    Carter Jr. is expected to take the court against the Hawks on Wednesday despite a left thumb sprain.

Houston Rockets

  • Danuel House Jr.

    Doub Fri | doubtful

    House Jr. sat out the last game with a sacral contusion, and it is unlikely that he will play Friday versus the Pacers.

  • Eric Gordon

    Late Dec | out

    Gordon is expected to miss six weeks after having arthroscopic right knee surgery.

  • Gerald Green

    Early May | out

    Green is expected to miss six months after having surgery to repair a left cuneiform fracture.

  • Clint Capela

    Out Fri | out

    Capela exited the previous game due to a concussion, and he will not face the Pacers on Friday.

  • Danuel House Jr.

    Prob Mon | probable

    House Jr. has an ankle injury, but he is likely to play Monday versus the Pelicans.

  • Clint Capela

    Prob Sat | probable

    Capela is dealing with a sore right shoulder but is expected to suit up against the Bulls on Saturday.

  • Eric Gordon

    Prob Sat | probable

    Gordon was held out of the previous game due to soreness in his left hamstring, but it is likely that he will face the Bulls on Saturday.

  • Nene

    Out indefinitely | out

    Nene is sidelined with a left adductor strain, and there is currently no timetable for return.