CHICAGO — Mike Dunleavy scored all of his 21 points in the second half, Joakim Noah flirted with another triple-double and the Chicago Bulls posted a 111-87 wire-to-wire victory over the Houston Rockets on Thursday night.
Noah finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in 34 minutes. He was headed for his fourth triple-double of the season, but sat down with about three minutes left because of the lopsided score.
Kirk Hinrich scored 19 points for Chicago, going 5 for 6 on 3-pointers, Carlos Boozer added 18 points, D.J. Augustin 13 and Jimmy Butler 11.
The Bulls improved to 2-2 on their six-game home stand.
The Rockets have dropped two straight. Reserve guard Jeremy Lin led Houston with 21 points, while Dwight Howard had 12 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes. James Harden had eight points on 2-for-7 shooting in 27 minutes.
The Bulls were coming off a humiliating loss to San Antonio on Tuesday. Although they lost by just eight points (104-96), the game was essentially over after they fell behind by 32 points in the first half. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said his team simply wasn’t ready to play following an emotional win against the Miami Heat two days earlier.
“If we don’t play with great intensity, we’re in trouble,” Thibodeau said before the game. “Two or three minutes when you don’t have that edge, that’s 15 or 20 points.”
The Bulls were ready to play from the start Thursday, jumping out to an 18-10 lead eight minutes into the game behind 10 points from Boozer.
They never trailed in the first half, taking a 50-42 halftime advantage.
Hawks 102, Bucks 97
ATLANTA — Kyle Korver scored 12 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to help Atlanta beat the Milwaukee Bucks for the Hawks’ first back-to-back victories in nearly six weeks.
Jeff Teague added 22 points, including eight in the final period when the struggling teams traded the lead several times.
The Hawks went ahead for good when Korver’s 3-pointer gave them a 90-89 edge with 2:15 left.
Both teams entered the contest having lost 14 of their previous 16 games. The Hawks (28-35) have plummeted to the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference standings. They lead the surging Knicks (26-40), who have won five in a row, by 3½ games for the final playoff spot.
Brandon Knight and Ersan Ilyasova scored 20 points each for Milwaukee (13-52), which has the worst record in the NBA.