The Chicago Bulls suffered their worst defeat of the season Wednesday night, falling 118-113 to a Houston Rockets team that entered play on a 15-game losing streak.
The Bulls, who now find themselves on a two-game skid, fall to 12-7 (4-2 after losses). The Rockets improve to 2-16.
Here are 10 observations:
1. Nikola Vučević made his return to the starting lineup after a seven-game spell on the shelf with COVID-19. His performance was uneven, but ended in a double-double of 14 points (6-for-16 shooting), 13 rebounds and four assists. He fouled out late in the fourth quarter.
In his first six-minute stint, Vučević made a nice short-roll read to pick out a Javonte Green corner 3-pointer (on the Bulls’ first possession of the game), and scored his first bucket on a tip-in assisted by DeMar DeRozan. But he also missed four of his first five looks, including two from point-blank range.
The beginning of the second quarter brought promising signs. The two-man chemistry Vučević and Coby White formed down the stretch of last season popped during a three-possession stretch in which White assisted a Vučević floater and 3-pointer, then Vučević returned the favor by handing off to White and setting a subsequent screen to free him for a 3-pointer. Vučević scored seven points on 3-for-6 shooting in the second. But he was also worked at the other end by Rockets rookie Alperen Şengün for a good chunk of the…