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.