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News » Rose shoots down Thunder


Rose shoots down Thunder


Rose shoots down Thunder
Of all the exhibitions of excellence opposing players have treated the Ford Center faithful to throughout this inaugural Thunder season, Wednesday night's will go down as one of the most remarkable.

What was even more impressive was that it was turned in by a 20-year-old rookie in Chicago's Derrick Rose, the Bulls' No. 1 overall pick.

Rose scored 20 of his team-high 25 points in the second half, making all 10 of his field-goal attempts over the final 24 minutes to lead the Bulls to a 103-96 win over the Thunder.

"That's what great players do," said Kevin Durant, who scored a game-high 28 points but was only 1-for-9 in the second half. "He's a phenomenal talent. He's having a great year. He won the game for them."

With the Thunder ahead 56-51 at halftime, Rose sat on five points on 2-for-4 shooting with five turnovers. The performance he strung together from there was nothing short of incredible.

Rose scored 10 of Chicago's first 12 points in the third quarter, deflating the Thunder more and more as each shot swished through the net. He hit fadeaways and contested jump shots, nailed runners and layups. His 20-footer with 7:36 left in the period gave the Bulls a 63-62 lead and sparked a 21-10 run that Chicago used to eventually take a five-point lead into the fourth quarter.

The Bulls never trailed again.

"I was just feeling it tonight," Rose said. "I didn't want to lose, so I was just shooting the ball... I knew that my team needed me to make plays. I didn't know what kind of plays, but it ended up being scoring plays."

In the process, Rose thoroughly outshined fellow rookie Russell Westbrook and showed why he's considered the frontrunner for NBA Rookie of the Year. Westbrook finished with 15 points on 6-for-16 shooting to go with six assists and four turnovers.

Westbrook seemed headed for the better night, scoring 12 of his points in the first half on 5-for-8 shooting and recording three assists. But like Durant, he struggled mightily down the stretch, shooting just 1-for-8 in the second half for three points and three turnovers. Two of his giveaways came on back-to-back possessions inside the final 6 1/2 minutes.

"They're going to be two really good point guards in this league for a lot of years to come," said Bulls center Brad Miller, who torched the Thunder for 14 points, six rebounds and five assists in 28 minutes off the bench.

"It's a growing process for (Rose), being a young guy who only played one year of college ball. But you can tell just from the early season to the late season that he's getting better. It's just a matter of getting your comfort in this league. Everyone can play. You just got to keep your confidence up and learn the tricks of the trade."


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 21, 2009

 

 
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