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Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011

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Career night: Chicago's Derrick Rose (left) defends against San Antonio's Tony Parker in the first half on Thursday. The Bulls beat the Spurs 109-99. AP PHOTO

Rose pours in career-high 42 in win over Spurs

CHICAGO (AP) Derrick Rose grabbed the microphone and thanked the fans for making him Chicago's first All-Star starter since Michael Jordan in 1998. Then he went out and showed why they made a wise decision.

Rose had a career-high 42 points and the Bulls headed into the break with an impressive 109-99 victory over the NBA-leading San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.

Luol Deng had 19 points and Carlos Boozer finished with 15 for Chicago, which shot 54 percent in its fourth consecutive win. The Bulls improved to 38-16 after winning 41 games last season.

"We have a lot of confidence right now, knowing we can beat some of the best teams in the NBA," Rose said. "We just have to keep it going."

Once again hearing "M-V-P! M-V-P!" chants, Rose was at his best when San Antonio challenged Chicago in the fourth quarter. He had 13 points in the final period, answering Spurs baskets with acrobatic drives and long jumpers.

"What's great about him is that he seems to love the pressure," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "He loves putting the team on his back so to speak."

Rose's long jumper as the shot clock expired with 3:21 left gave Chicago a 101-90 lead and took the steam out of one San Antonio rally. He also finished with eight assists and five rebounds.

"That was some performance," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "It was great leadership."

Tony Parker scored 26 points and All-Star Manu Ginobili added 16 for San Antonio, which had won six of seven. Reserve Gary Neal made four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points.

"We were not having our best defensive night," Ginobili said. "We didn't move the ball well. We didn't penetrate and kick the way we usually do."

Mavericks 112, Suns 106

In Phoenix, Dirk Nowitzki scored 35 points to lead Dallas to its 13th victory in 14 games.

Tyson Chandler had 12 points and 12 rebounds, including a tip-in with 19 seconds left.

Channing Frye scored 24 points and Steve Nash 15 points and 14 assists for the Suns.

Duncan to start ASG

CHICAGO (AP) San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says Tim Duncan will replace Yao Ming in the Western Conference's starting lineup for Sunday's All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

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