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Monday, March 28, 2011

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No thorns: Bulls guard Derrick Rose goes up for a shot between Bucks defenders Larry Sanders and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute on Saturday. The Bulls won 95-87. AP PHOTO

Rose makes case to win MVP against Bucks

MILWAUKEE (AP) At this point, those "M-V-P!" chants even follow Derrick Rose when he and the Chicago Bulls go on the road.

The way Rose stole a game from the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday certainly made him seem worthy.

Rose orchestrated a stunning 12-0 run by Chicago in the final three minutes, rallying the Bulls for a 95-87 victory.

"The worst thing you can do is give me confidence no matter what I'm doing," Rose said. "If I get any type of confidence, it's going to be hard to stop me."

A large, loud contingent of traveling Bulls fans made Rose feel at home, chanting "M-V-P!" as the final seconds ran out — just as they did throughout the game.

Rose finished with 30 points and a career-high 17 assists. And while the way he took over the game at the end was jaw-dropping, his passing was just as impressive.

"It was an up-tempo-type game," Rose said. "I was trying to make the right pass, put a lot of pressure on them and it was rolling for us."

With Chicago trailing 87-83 after four straight free throws by Carlos Delfino, Rose hit a pair of free throws and then fed Joakim Noah for a fast-break dunk to tie it.

With the Bucks bobbling the ball on offense, Rose hit three straight shots in the final two minutes, then handed off to Ronnie Brewer for a game-clinching fast-break layup.

"He's done it all year and he's got to continue to do it," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "The thing I really respect about him is he's never satisfied. He'll keep driving. The important thing for him is to win. He's not concerned about what he's doing individually. It's how the team is doing."

Hawks 98, Nets 87

In Atlanta, the Hawks clinched a playoff spot by beating New Jersey.

Al Horford had 23 points and 12 rebounds for Atlanta, including six straight points late in the game to fend off a comeback attempt by New Jersey. Josh Smith added 22 points for the Hawks, who are in the playoffs for the fourth straight season.

Bobcats 114, Knicks 106

In Charlotte, Boris Diaw scored 20 points, Stephen Jackson added 19, and the Bobcats provided more misery for slumping New York.

A night after a stunning comeback win in Boston, the Bobcats sent the Knicks to their sixth straight loss despite 36 points from Carmelo Anthony to remain in contention for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Pistons 100, Pacers 88

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Richard Hamilton scored 23 points, as Detroit held off Indiana.

The Pistons went on a 21-3 run during the third quarter to take an 18-point lead. But the Pacers, who are fighting for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, cut the lead to six in the fourth quarter but is was too little too late.

Clippers 94, Raptors 90

In Los Angeles, Blake Griffin had 22 points and 16 rebounds, Chris Kaman added 17 points and 12 boards, and the Clippers handed Toronto its fourth straight loss.

Mavericks 94, Jazz 77

In Salt Lake City, reserve Jason Terry scored five of his 22 points in a 13-0 fourth-quarter run to lead Dallas to a victory over Utah.

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