Derrick Rose lets out a scream after dunking the ball against the New York Knicks at the United Center on March 12 in Chicago. The Bulls defeated the Knicks 104-99. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Derrick Rose had another big scoring night Monday to help the league-best Chicago Bulls to another win. Still, he was frustrated after the game.
Rose had 32 points, six rebounds and seven assists as the Bulls beat New York 104-99 on Monday night for their 10th win in 11 games and sending the reeling Knicks to their sixth straight loss. He had to work for his points, shooting 12 for 29 from the floor and absorbing contact from Knicks defenders all night.
"I've got to be the only the only superstar in the league that's going through what I'm going through right now," Rose said. "Can't say too much about it."
It was a physical game throughout as New York attempted 31 free throws and Chicago had 28.
"I'm going to continue to play the way I know how to play," Rose said. "I came into this league as a driver. Nothing has changed."
The Bulls won despite the absence of starters Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton, as well as key reserve C.J. Watson. They got a jolt of energy from the reserves, led by Taj Gibson's 15 points and a team-high 13 boards. Chicago, which outrebounded New York 56-38, entered the game leading the league in rebounding margin.
Jeremy Lin had 15 points and eight assists for New York, but shot just 4 of 11 from the floor and while he bothered Rose at times, he ultimately had little luck stopping him.
Lin, who has been plagued by turnovers, committed just three miscues against Chicago's elite defense.
"He's good," Rose said. "He didn't turn the ball over that much. He's playing with a lot of confidence. His teammates believe in him. You can go so far in this league when you have your teammates behind you."
Carlos Boozer scored 15 points and Joakim Noah had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls. Rookie Jimmy Butler played a key role with eight points in 29 minutes, making several big energy plays to excite the sellout crowd.
"(Gibson and Butler) are the reason why we won, making huge plays, big shots, diving for the ball, saving balls," Rose said. "That's the reason why we won. I definitely take off my hat to both of them guys."
The playoff-type game was intense to the finish, coming to a crescendo on Rose's fourth-quarter dunk that is sure to be featured on the nightly highlight shows. Rose had an angry expression on his face after the dunk, but said he didn't really remember the play. He did, however, have an inkling about the look on his face.
"I kind of blacked out right there, I'll have to watch it again," Rose said. "I was probably mad because they wasn't calling no fouls the whole game."