Derrick Rose scores 35 points in Bulls’ victory against Wizards
BY NEIL HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org January 30, 2012 10:30PM
Bulls star Derrick Rose takes the ball to the basket against Wizards center JaVale McGee on Monday. He had 35 points and eight assists. | Nick Wass~AP
Updated: March 1, 2012 9:52AM
WASHINGTON — The best way to erase a bad memory is to create new ones.
That was what Derrick Rose was determined to do Monday against the Washington Wizards in an attempt to forget about missing two free throws with 22.7 seconds left that would have given the Bulls the lead in their loss Sunday to the Miami Heat.
‘‘Tonight, I’m going to try to go crazy,’’ Rose said before the game.
He was crazy, all right. Crazy good.
Rose had the crowd of 18,357 at the Verizon Center oohing and aah-ing with his high-flying act in the paint as the Bulls cruised to a 98-88 victory against the Wizards.
Rose scored 35 points — his third consecutive game with more than 30 — and handed out eight assists. He also was 14-for-15 from the free-throw line, including 4-for-4 in the fourth quarter.
‘‘I was just playing my game,’’ Rose said. ‘‘That’s me being aggressive. [Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau] always says play my game and everyone will follow.’’
Rose went right to work, making six of his eight shots in the first quarter. He ended the first half by sinking an 18-foot jumper, then blocking a shot by Wizards guard John Wall as the buzzer sounded. He added 15 points in the third quarter, including a three-pointer with 2:56 left that gave the Bulls a 22-point lead.
If Rose is the fastest player in the league from baseline to baseline, as Thibodeau claims, Wall might be second. Thibodeau called Wall ‘‘one of the best young players in the league,’’ but he couldn’t compete with Rose’s shot-making ability on this night, finishing with 20 points on 7-for-16 shooting.
‘‘[Rose] set the tone,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘He’s feeling a lot better. When he comes out like that, it’s his will. He imposes his will on everybody.’’
Rose went hard to the basket in the second quarter, only to have his shot blocked by center JaVale McGee. Rose couldn’t believe no foul was called and complained to official Eli Roe until he drew his first technical of the season. It has been building. Rose has appeared frustrated with officials several times this season.
‘‘I had to get that one,’’ Rose said. ‘‘I didn’t mean to get it the way I got it, but I felt I had to say something.’’
Thibodeau told the team he was more worried about this game than he was about the showdown Sunday against Heat, and the players responded. Carlos Boozer added 18 points and eight rebounds and Kyle Korver 17 points, including five three-pointers.
‘‘You’re only going to let Derrick attack the basket so many times before you make a change and the defense begins to collapse,’’ Korver said of his three-point success.
The Wizards cut their deficit to eight late in the fourth quarter with a trapping defense the Bulls countered by getting the ball to center Joakim Noah in the middle of the floor. Noah finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds for his fifth consecutive double-double and added seven assists.
After the game, he was asked if he fantasized about being a point guard.
‘‘I usually think of women when I fantasize,’’ Noah said. ‘‘I don’t fantasize about being a point guard.’’