It was a wild Tuesday night for Rose and the Bulls.
One after another, teams trotted into rowdy Oracle Arena the past two months confident they could cool off the NBA’s hottest team on their home floor. It took 113 points, 53 minutes and one big shot from a former MVP to finally make it happen.
Derrick Rose scored 20 points, Jimmy Butler had 14 of his 20 in the second half and the Chicago Bulls beat the Dallas Mavericks 102-98 Friday night.
In a rout of the defending champions, Chicago reminded that its goals are still attainable.
Rose was roughly on a 32-minute limit before.
Washington’s personnel and scheme largely negate Chicago’s strengths.
Rose didn’t undergo an MRI, as treatment for two days cleared up left knee soreness.
Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant also are in the top five.
The Bulls are set up to make a real run for the first time in the Thibodeau era, if they stay healthy.
“I’m always concerned,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau says.
The Bulls play the Wizards in D.C. tonight.
Gasol is in line to start the All-Star Game on Feb. 15 in New York City.
Tom Thibodeau’s advice? “Keep grinding away.”
Offensively and defensively, Rose hasn’t consistently been engaged lately.
It’s nice when Chicago teams live up to expectations and act professionally.
In an encouraging sign, Derrick Rose went through morning shootaround.
“It puts enormous pressure on a defense,” Tom Thibodeau says.
Stuck in a slump, Rose scored 13 of his 17 points in the final eight minutes of Thursday’s win.
Rose is last among qualified NBA players in 3-point percentage but shooting a bevy of them.
“It’s not an accident,” Bryant says of Butler’s emergence.