NBA

Mon, Feb 20, 2012 - 4:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Rose scores 23 to lead Bulls by Hawks

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose had 23 points after missing five games with back pain.
Share This Story

   
 

CHICAGO (AP)

Between the nasty crossovers and fearless drives, Derrick Rose's back problems appear to be in the past — a very good thing for the Chicago Bulls.

bracket

MOST VALUABLE

Will LeBron win another one of these? Here's our top 10 MVP candidates.

As deep as their roster is, they need their superstar.

Rose scored 23 points in his return from a five-game absence due to back pain, and Chicago hung on to beat the struggling Atlanta Hawks 90-79 on Monday.

Rose looked sharp and helped the Bulls play more like championship contenders after a brutal loss to New Jersey two days earlier. They led by 18 through the first quarter and were up 55-37 at halftime, but found themselves hanging on in the end after a big push by Atlanta.

The Bulls were clinging to an 85-79 lead after a late 3-pointer by Jannero Pargo before Luol Deng nailed a 3 of his own to make it a nine-point game. Rose then buried a turnaround jumper on Pargo to make it 90-79 with 2:10 remaining and Chicago prevailed, sending Atlanta to its seventh loss in 10 games.

Rose also had six assists and five rebounds. Carlos Boozer added 16 points, Ronnie Brewer had 13, and Deng and John Lucas 10 apiece. Joakim Noah chipped in with 16 rebounds.

''Having (Rose) back just opens up everything,'' Noah said. ''He was very aggressive tonight. When he's aggressive like that, it opens up everything for everybody, and it gives us a lot of confidence.''

Rose did not make himself available for comment afterward. Coach Tom Thibodeau said his conditioning is ''not where it usually is,'' but the explosiveness was there.

''Overall, I was very pleased,'' he said. ''Derrick said he felt really good out there.''

Pargo, a Chicago native who previously played for the Bulls, provided a big spark off the bench for Atlanta with a season-high 19 points, including five 3-pointers. Josh Smith added 17 points and 12 rebounds, but Joe Johnson (12 points) sat out the fourth quarter because of recurring tendinitis in his left knee.

The Hawks showed little life in the early going after being blown out by Portland on Sunday and paid for it in the end.

''We as a team, sometimes, we come out and play with a sense of urgency; sometimes we don't,'' coach Larry Drew said. ''That's something we've done this year. You can't play like that.

''Nobody is to blame, but everybody is to blame,'' he added. ''We all have to put ourselves in one foxhole and figure it out together.''

The Hawks were without Marvin Williams, who missed the game because of a death in the family, but it's hard to believe he would have made that big a difference with the way the Bulls played early on.

Coming off one of their ugliest performances in two seasons under Thibodeau, they quickly rediscovered their form.

bracket

SEE MY POINT

Who's the best point guard in NBA history? Magic? Isiah? The Big O? Here are our top 10.

Rose was his usual explosive self, whether he was freezing Jeff Teague with a wicked crossover or burying jumpers. He scored nine in the first quarter as the Bulls grabbed a 35-17 lead, and he had plenty of help with Deng and Brewer each adding seven points. It was a big difference from Saturday, when Chicago fell behind 22-3 and never recovered.

Of course, this time, the Bulls had their best player. That the Bulls are 7-3 without Rose is a testament to their depth, but the players realize they need him if they're going to achieve their ultimate goal.

Chicago is eyeing a championship after winning 62 games on the way to the Eastern Conference finals last season, and they're dominating again even though Rose and veteran guard Richard Hamilton have missed significant time because of injuries.

The Bulls insisted they wouldn't rush Rose back. He had increased his activity in practice but still was a game-time decision on Monday.

''Who we're playing had nothing to do with it,'' Thibodeau said. ''He felt he was 100 percent and he could go. He was cleared medically to do it. We'll just go from there. He said he felt well out there.''

Notes: Drew said he met with Tracy McGrady to discuss his comments after Sunday's loss at Portland and that it was handled ''in-house.'' McGrady made it clear he was upset about a lack of playing time, telling the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ''I'm tired of this (garbage).'' ... Hamilton (right thigh) remained sidelined for Chicago. The Bulls were also without backup point guard C.J. Watson, who left in the third quarter of Saturday's loss to New Jersey after taking a blow to the head from the Nets' Kris Humphries.

Tagged: Hawks, Bulls, Jannero Pargo, Luol Deng, Derrick Rose

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..