Rose and Dwyane Wade provide thrills aplenty with 34 and 33 points respectively
The drama never stopped Saturday night at a rocking United Center. In a shootout for the ages between Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade, Rose and the BullsKyle Korver swished a late 3-pointer, Ronnie Brewer made one of two free throws with 4.4 seconds left and then Brewer ably defended Wade into an airballed 3-pointer near the buzzer.
hung on for a 99-96 victory that was secured when But the Bulls' eighth straight home victory and reaching a season-high 14 games above .500 was tempered slightly by the sight of Carlos Boozer limping down a United Center hallway in a walking boot. Boozer rolled his left ankle on Korver's game-winning shot, tipping Rose's miss to keep the possession alive. "When I hit the ground it was already on its side and all my weight came down on top of it," Boozer told the Tribune. "It's pretty swollen right now, pretty bad. I'll ice it like crazy and see if I can play (Monday)." The great theater couldn't prevent the fact this game's significance is difficult to ascertain. LeBron James missed a second straight game with a sprained left ankle. Chris Bosh sat the fourth quarter with his own ankle injury. And Joakim Noah watched in street clothes. "It's going to be a battle," Rose said about the teams playing at full strength. "We're not going to quit. They're definitely not going to quit." Nobody did Saturday either. The Bulls led 90-87 after Mario Chalmers scored following Wade's block on Luol Deng. Rose, who had 34 points and eight assists, responded with a gorgeous hanging layup in traffic with 1 minute, 40 seconds left. That's when Wade, who scored 33 points, went nuts. He swished one 3-pointer with 1:33 left. Rose responded by pump-faking Chalmers into the air, drawing contact and somehow muscling home a 15-foot jumper for a three-point play with 1:18 left. Wade hit another 3-pointer 11 seconds later. Wade switched onto Rose and forced a turnover when Chalmers stole his crosscourt pass. And Wade hit another 3-pointer with 37.2 seconds left while trying to lean in to draw contact on C.J. Watson. Rose's leaner over Wade rimmed out, and the scramble came out to Korver, who dribbled once and let fly the go-ahead 3-pointer with 25.5 seconds left. "I actually took a step backward to get back (on defense)," said Korver, who ditched his knee sleeves at halftime to try to break his slump. "But I knew I could get it. Then I just let it fly." A wild first three quarters featured the Bulls blowing a 14-point lead to trail 53-48 at halftime. The Bulls then began the third with a 17-0 run that featured two Rose 3-pointers, a Keith Bogans' 3-pointer, Wade picking up two fouls to sit with four and then a spectacular Rose layup in which he split two defenders with the dribble and went up-and-under to score past two more. Bosh, 3 of 14 to that point, scored 11 in a 14-2 run to bring the Heat back and set up the wild finish. "That's why I'm in this league," Rose said. "I love competing against the best."