In a 113-111 overtime win for the Chicago Bulls over the Golden State Warriors on the road, Derrick Rose was anything but efficient. However, in the most important moments and possessions he was there to carry to torch, including hitting an incredibly difficult fall back jumper to win the game.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the Bulls won on the road. They have lost 17 times this season in their first 47 games, but only six of those losses have come on the road. The Warriors haven’t lost in 19 consecutive home games but the Bulls, even without Jimmy Butler of Mike Dunleavy are simply that good, or at least happen to be one some nights. Consistency, more than anything else, has been the problem for them.
It’s hard to say Rose had a good game, or at least for most of it. He finished with 30 points while the Bulls had a +10 while he was on the floor. So far so good. But he shot just 13-of-33 from the field, turning the ball over 11 times. He didn’t get to the free throw line once. That’s not how the book says you should play basketball. Rose had just one assist in the game, which makes him the first player in NBA history with 30 points, 10 turnovers or more and one assist or less in a game. It didn’t matter.
His only assist found a wide open Kirk Hinrich for a 3-pointer that gave the Bulls the lead before overtime. His final shot was an incredibly difficult fall back jumper that left the Bulls with 7 seconds and a two point lead to defend. Klay Thompson actually got open for a good look at the basket, but he missed from close range, maybe slightly shaken from the Bulls’ defense on him in the second half, holding him to 10 points after an excellent 20-point first half.
The Bulls were on the cusp of winning the game after that Hinrich three pointer, but Draymond Green grabbed an offensive rebound and tipped the ball in while fouling Pau Gasol. In the ORACLE arena no one was going to call that on him, so the game went into overtime, with the Warriors once again chasing the Bulls. Their fast break points disappeared in the second half (23 out of 31 in the first) and Stephen Curry was held to just 9-of-23 from the field and 2-of-9 from beyond the arc. As we mentioned in the preview post, the Bulls’ defense has a way with slowing down Curry’s shooting pace.
The Warriors missed their last 13 3-point attempts. Steve Kerr acknowledged that the Bulls defense made things difficult for them, kept them out of rhythm. The Warriors still started the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run which included possibly the best assist we’ll see this season from Stephen Curry or anyone else. But with the Warriors’ giving up too many offensive rebounds (19, 13 of them to Gasol and Noah) and 52 points in the paint, those flashy moments didn’t matter.
Rose wasn’t having the best of games, but he never let it stop him or slow him down. He kept shooting and attacking the rim. On a different court he would have gotten foul calls to go his way. His road back from being unavailable for almost two years to the cusp of superstardom not just in name but also in ability is long and difficult, but Rose has the attitude and probably still the quality to complete the turnaround. This kind of finish and being brave and good enough to weather the strom shows he’s on the right path.