Derrick Rose for MVP? How about Derrick Rose for Most Willing To Fight Through Health Problems To Lead His Team To Victory?
OK, that doesn’t make such a great acronym (it would be MWTFTHPTLHTTV), but that’s what Rose did tonight, fighting off two stomach ulcers and at times visibly wincing in pain, to lead the Bulls to a 99-90 win over the Orlando Magic, good revenge for the 29-point beating they took at the hands of the Magic last month at the UC.
Rose had 22 points and led everyone in the game with 12 assists, and pulled down six rebounds, including a pair in the game’s final minute, which he followed with two free throws that iced the win.
The Bulls trailed at halftime by five, 51-46, but came roaring out with a 34-point third quarter to take an 80-68 lead after three quarters, their largest lead of the game.
Luol Deng led all Bulls scorers with 26 points (24 in the second half), and Carlos Boozer also posted a double double with 16 points and a game-leading 16 rebounds. That negated a huge game from Orlando’s Dwight Howard; Howard put in 40 points with 15 rebounds, but the Bulls owned the boards 54-40.
The Bulls have no rest, as they’ll face the Indiana Pacers tomorrow night at the UC. After Rose played more than 37 minutes tonight, hopefully he’ll still be at full strength on Saturday night. With the win, the Bulls improved to 32-14, tied with the Heat for second in the Eastern Conference, 3.5 games behind the Celtics.