All they wanted was a measure of respectability. It had eluded the Bulls on their November road swings since Michael Jordan retired after the 1998 season.
But they gained that and more Saturday night when they ended their six-game trip with victories over the Los Angeles Lakers, the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets.
The back-to-back victories in Texas were especially gratifying. Although they have struggled against Rockets giant Yao Ming, the Bulls used their momentum to weather Yao's 30 points in a 94-89 victory before an announced sellout crowd of 18,005 at the Toyota Center.
The Bulls got their usual lift from Ben Gordon, who scored 18 points off the bench, and a welcome contribution from veteran reserve Othella Harrington, who added 16.