HOUSTON, March 14 (UPI) -- James Posey scored 15 of his season-high 26 points in the first quarter Friday night as the Houston Rockets tied a season high with their fourth straight win, a 121-91 rout of the Chicago Bulls.
Facing the league's most inept road team, the Rockets had little difficulties turning the game into a one-sided affair. Posey, who came in averaging 10 points per game, had four straight uncontested layups as Houston opened a 15-3 lead midway through the opening period.
"It felt good to have an opportunity to get a bunch of open shots," Posey said. "I'm just trying to get easy baskets in transition. That's my game. It's been a long, long time (since I had a game like that)."
Acquired by the Rockets from Denver in a three-way trade in December, Posey surpassed his season average with a three-pointer with 28 seconds remaining in the quarter as Houston forced 11 turnovers in the first 12 minutes.
"Posey set the tone, he knocked the ball loose, got the running game going," said Houston Coach Rudy Tomjanovich. "He's making an adjustment to a new team. His role is still being defined here."
The Bulls, who have a 3-32 road record, shot 37.5 percent in the first half, allowed the Rockets to shoot 57 percent and trailed at the break, 55-33.
Steve Francis just missed a triple-double with 23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists and rookie Yao Ming scored 12 of his 16 points in the third quarter as Houston (34-30) moved into a tie with idle Phoenix for the final playoff berth in the Western Conference.
Jamal Crawford scored 23 points for the Bulls, whose last road win against a Western Conference opponent was in Houston on March 16, 2002.
Chicao Coach Bill Cartwright said Crawford was the lone starter that showed up.
"Out of our first group, the only guy who was ready to play was Jamal," he said. "We've got to get ourselves ready to play basketball. It's as simple as that. I'm very disappointed. We'll just have to regroup. We'll look at some film and see what we've got to do."
The teams meet again on Sunday.