Reigning MVP Derrick Rose prepared for his game against the Spurs by rescuing Chicago to a tougher-than-expected victory over struggling New Orleans.
Rose hit the go-ahead jumper with 19.4 seconds left, blocked a potential tying shot and added to clinching free throws to lead the Bulls’ 99-95 victory over the Hornets.
It capped a 32-point performance for Rose, rescuing the struggling Bulls after they had allowed the Hornets to score 13 straight to take a late four-point lead.
“We definitely held it together. Other teams I guess would have folded,” Rose told the Associated Press. “We played toward the end I think the best defense we played throughout the whole game. We rebounded the ball, made great plays on the ball. … We gave ourselves a chance.”
Providing the key shot in game-winning situations befits an All-Star player like Rose.
Rose relishes taking the game-turning shots.
“I always think about my legacy here, taking those shots,” he said. “I want to be where I want to be at the end of my career.”
And on Wednesday night, Rose Studs Duds effort helped the Bulls pulls within percentage points of Miami for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Chicago G Derrick Rose: Hit the final four points of the game, sandwiched around a blocked shot in the Bulls’ victory over New Orleans. Rose finished with 32 points, nine assists, three steals, two blocked shots and was a team-best plus-16.
New Jersey C Brook Lopez: Erupted for 38 points, six rebounds and was plus-5 in the Nets’ upset victory at Dallas.
Minnesota F Derrick Williams: Came off the bench to score 27 points in 27 minutes, including 13 points in the fourth quarter, and was plus-xxx in the Timberwolves’ victory at the Los Angeles Clippers.
Milwaukee F Mike Dunleavy: Sliced through Washington for a team-high 28 points on only 17 shots off the bench in the Bucks’ triumph.
Sacramento C DeMarcus Cousins: Muscled for 22 points, 18 rebounds and was plus-3 in the Kings’ victory over Utah.
Chicago C Joakim Noah: Went for 15 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocked shots and was plus-11 in the Bulls’ victory over New Orleans.
Toronto G Jerryd Bayless: Went for four points on 2-for-6 shooting, had five turnovers and was minus-2 in the Raptors’ loss at Houston.
Boston F Paul Pierce: Clanked through a 4-for-11 shooting night with six turnovers and was minus-11 in the Celtics’ victory over Cleveland.
Boston G Rajon Rondo: Was shut out on 0-for-6 shooting with five turnovers in the Celtics’ triumph over Cleveland.
Golden State G Monta Ellis: Went 7 of 19 from the field with five turnovers and was minus-23 in the Warriors’ loss at Indiana.
Dallas G Jason Terry: Hit only 4 of 14 from the field with four turnovers and was minus-1 in the Mavericks’ loss to New Jersey.
Los Angeles Clippers F Caron Butler: Went 1 for 10 from the field in the Clippers’ loss to Minnesota.