Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Pau Gasol had 27 points and 14 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls used a strong fourth quarter to beat the Houston Rockets, 114-105, on Monday.
Jimmy Butler added 22 points and three steals for the Bulls, who outscored Houston by a 31-16 margin in the final period. Derrick Rose contributed 19 points and nine assists, Nikola Mirotic tallied 17 points and eight boards and Kirk Hinrich scored 10 points.
"I think we were solid, just good defensive positioning on the floor," Gasol said.
Josh Smith ended with 21 points and three steals for the Rockets. James Harden and Donatas Motiejunas donated 20 and 16 points, respectively.
"We usually get to the line more than we did," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "They made some plays down the stretch and we didn't."
Trailing 100-95 with 6:05 to play, the Bulls ended the game on a 19-5 run. Gasol recorded a three-point play and made two free throws around a Butler jumper to give Chicago a 102-100 lead.
The Rockets briefly went back in front on Smith's 3-pointer, but Butler responded with a trey of his own. Rose made two free throws and Mirotic connected from beyond the arc to make it 110-103 with 39.6 seconds left.
The score was tied 62-62 following a first half that featured five lead changes and 12 ties. Houston scored the final eight points of the third quarter to grab an 89-83 advantage.
The Rockets led by as many as eight early in the fourth.
Dwight Howard had 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets, who went just 3- of-5 from the foul line ... The Bulls went 27-of-30 from the charity stripe ... Harden was selected the Western Conference Player of the Month for December after averaging 30.6 points while leading the Rockets to a 9-5 record.