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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rose stays hot as Bulls beat Knicks


New York — Derrick Rose might have already done enough to wrap up the MVP award.

News photo
Stop, look and listen: Chicago's Derrick Rose passes away from New York's Jared Jeffries on Tuesday. AP

The race for the NBA's best record will go to the final day.

Rose and the Chicago Bulls stayed in the race for it, overwhelming the New York Knicks to start the second half and winning 103-90 on Tuesday night for their eighth straight victory.

Rose scored 26 points for the Bulls, who opened the third quarter with a 26-2 spurt over the first 7-plus minutes and improved to 61-20. Luol Deng added 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Carlos Boozer had 14 points and 22 boards as Chicago outrebounded New York 51-33.

"We came out kind of soft," Rose said. "Second half, Tibs (coach Tom Thibodeau) came in at halftime and talked to us and we changed things."

Chicago, already assured the best record in the Eastern Conference, entered play a game behind San Antonio for home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. The tiebreakers are all even, so a random drawing would be held if they finish with the same record as the Spurs, who lost to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.

"That's something special. It's definitely something that we want, but we have to look at the bigger picture. For us it's all about improvement and just focusing on the next opponent and the results will take care of themselves," forward Joakim Noah said.

The Bulls host lowly New Jersey on Wednesday night, while San Antonio goes to Phoenix.

"I'm not worried about it," Rose said. "If anything, get some rest right now and hopefully I come out healthy tomorrow."

Just in case he still needed to, Rose put on a show for the MVP voters watching the nationally televised game, shooting 10 of 19 and throwing down a few crowd-pleasing dunks as the Bulls ran away from the Knicks after losing the first two meetings.

"Rose is amazing. His athletic ability is ridiculous. He's come farther, quicker, faster than anyone expected," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "He's playing at a level that not many people play."

Lakers 102, Spurs 93

In Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 27 points and the Lakers snapped their five-game losing streak at a potentially high cost, losing center Andrew Bynum to a hyperextended right knee in a victory over San Antonio.

The Lakers' hopes for a third straight NBA title might have taken a significant blow when Bynum fell to the court after stepping on DeJuan Blair's foot during the second period.

Trail Blazers 102, Grizzlies 89

In Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and 11 rebounds and the Blazers locked up the sixth seed in the Western Conference with a victory over Memphis.

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