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Thursday, March 13th (All times Eastern)

Houston Rockets (44-20) at Chicago Bulls (35-29), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - It appears both the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls will reach the playoffs, but the two squads are coming off losing efforts.

Something has to give when the Rockets pay a visit to the Bulls Thursday night at the United Center. The Rockets opened a tough three-game road trip with Tuesday's 106-98 loss at Oklahoma City, as James Harden netted 28 points and Chandler Parsons added 19.

Dwight Howard was limited to nine points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Houston, which had a five-game winning streak stopped and fell to 18-13 on the road. The Rockets missed several opportunities to keep their winning streak intact.

"We missed 15 layups out there," said Houston head coach Kevin McHale. "We went in there soft tonight. We didn't attack the rim."

The Rockets are fourth in the Western Conference standings, one game behind the Los Angeles Clippers and four off the top seed.

Houston will close the trip Sunday afternoon in Miami.

Meanwhile, the Bulls will continue their quest for a playoff spot and a six- game homestand versus the Rockets.

Chicago has alternated results in the last six games and dropped to 1-2 on the stay with Tuesday's 104-96 loss to San Antonio. Chicago was down 38-14 after the first quarter and a second-half surge fell short.

"There's nothing to take (from a game) when you get down by 30 and then make a run at the end. We've got to get it figured out," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said.

D.J. Augustin and Jimmy Butler scored 24 and 23 points, respectively, while Joakim Noah rounded out the double-digit scorers with 13 points to go along with eight rebounds, seven assists and two blocks. The Bulls shot 42.7 percent and committed 14 turnovers.

The Bulls have a 19-12 record as the host and are fourth in the East standings, 1 1/2 games behind the Toronto Raptors. They still have Sacramento and Oklahoma City slated to visit the United Center.

Chicago suffered a 109-94 loss at Houston on Dec. 18 and was led by Butler's 20 points. Howard had 23 points in that one and both Harden and Parsons ended with 19 for the Rockets, who have won four in a row in this series.

Houston is 7-3 in the last 10 trips to the Windy City.

03/13 11:38:57 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
4th
CHA 69
BOS 85
 
Final
DET 2
ATL 4
Final
TAM 6
BAL 6
Final
PIT 18
PHI 4
Final
STL 6
WAS 2
Final
NYM 7
MIA 1
Final
CWS 1
CLE 4
Final
OAK 11
COL 2
Final
TEX 7
KAN 11
Final
SEA 5
ANA 3
Final
CIN 3
SDP 6
Final
CHC 8
SFG 5
Final
ARI 2
LOS 4
9th
HOU 4
TOR 7
 
5th
BOS 7
MIN 0
 
4th
CHA 69
BOS 85
 
3rd
PHI 67
LAL 71
 
Half
TOR 48
HOU 52
 
Half
ATL 46
MIL 39
 
2nd
MEM 36
SAC 22
 
2nd
MIN 24
UTA 33
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
PHO
1st
LOYC 14
LAMON 16
 
2nd
MON 1
TAM 2
 
1st Intermission
STL 0
VAN 0
 
1st
DAL 1
CAL 0
 
1st
CHI 0
LOS 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
EDM
10:00pm Tonight
ARI
BUF