- Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose recorded the first triple-double of his career Monday afternoon in a 96-84 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Rose scored 22 points with 12 assists and 10 rebounds, recording the triple-double he never thought he would get during his career.
"It feels the same," he said with a laugh. "A win is a win, no matter how my stats are. I'm just happy we got the win, without some of the key players that's on our team."
Playing without Carlos Boozer (sprained ankle) and Joakim Noah (thumb surgery), Rose & Co. dominated the game from the outset. They set the tone defensively, holding the Grizzlies to just 38 percent shooting from the floor.
"We were talking about it in here, playing with an edge," Rose said. "Coach [Tom Thibodeau] put it on the board, 'We have to play with an edge,' knowing that we're missing some key players, but we still got to go out there and hustle and make up for missing them."
Thibodeau was happy to see his star have so much success and believes the key to recording his first triple-double came with a renewed focus on rebounding.
"Obviously, the scoring's there all the time," Thibodeau said of Rose. "And the assists are usually there. And I've said this all along, I think he's made much more of a concerted effort to rebound the ball. So now when you add the rebounding component to it, that's where I think the triple-doubles will come.
"Like I've said all along, the better he rebounds the ball, the more we can get out into the open floor and get some easy transition scores. I think those fast breaks, the ones in which he rebounds and busts out with the ball, they're impossible to stop. He generates speed, and we're going to get a good shot. Either he's getting the score or we're going to get a wide-open shot from there."
For Rose, being able to accomplish such a feat in Memphis, on the same FedEx Forum floor he used to play on at the University of Memphis, was special to him.
"I played 20-something games on that court [in college]," Rose said. "I kind of know everything about it, where you should shoot the ball. Tonight I really didn't shoot the ball that good, but it was just one of them nights where everybody else was shooting the ball well. Just being back on this court felt good."
Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.
9hMarc Stein and Calvin Watkins