(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls have been playing great basketball of late and will try to continue that Monday night when the Houston Rockets come to the United Center.
The Bulls have won two straight and nine of their last 10. Since Dec. 10, Chicago is 12-2 and vaulted into a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference, just 1 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Hawks.
The Bulls' winning streak reached two games thanks to a 109-104 home overtime victory over the Boston Celtics on Saturday. It was Chicago's eighth win in its last nine as the host.
Pau Gasol had another solid all-around game with 29 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks to lead the Bulls. In Thursday's 106-10 win versus Denver, Gasol recorded 17 points, nine boards and a career-high nine blocks. As a team, Chicago tallied a franchise record 18 blocks.
On Saturday, the Bulls had nine blocks, but shot just 37 percent from the field.
"I think we have room for improvement for sure," Gasol said. "We can step it up a little more. I think when we're locked in we can up the level of intensity and do some damage and win more comfortably."
Aaron Brooks provided 19 points and Derrick Rose scored 12, but was just 5- of-18 from the floor. Taj Gibson had 12 points and Nikola Mirotic scored 10 in the win.
After Boston's Jared Sullinger forced overtime with a layup with under three seconds on the clock, the Bulls never trailed in the extra period. Avery Bradley's layup had the visitors within two with 41.7 seconds left. Rose then countered with a layup on the ensuing possession.
Evan Turner and Rose traded free throws to keep it a four-point contest with eight seconds to go. Turner then threw a cross-court inbounds pass that was too high for Jeff Green, who stepped out of bounds to seal the outcome.
Including Monday's tilt with the Rockets, the Bulls play five of their next six at home.
The Rockets have taken two of their last three, although they've lost two in a row on the road.
On Saturday, the Rockets buried the Miami Heat, 115-79, in Houston.
Dwight Howard had 19 of his 23 points in the second quarter and pulled down 13 rebounds to lead the Rockets.
Houston outscored Miami 71-39 in the second and third quarters to turn the game into a rout.
James Harden posted 28 points and five rebounds for the Rockets, who had dropped five of their last eight games coming in.
"As bad as we were last night, we moved the ball pretty well tonight," said Rockets coach Kevin McHale about a Rockets team that had lost by 28 points in New Orleans on Friday.
Against the Heat, McHale reinserted Donatas Motiejunas in the starting lineup. Josh Smith had started since being signed by the team, but Motiejunas scored 12 points.
Smith had 12 off the bench while Patrick Beverley and Corey Brewer both scored 11.
The Rockets visit the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks on this trip.
The Bulls beat the Rockets in March of last season to end a four-game series losing streak. Chicago is 4-2 in its last six as the host versus Houston.