Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/17

Game 1: Wednesday, November 17th
Bulls94Final
Spurs103
Game 2: Thursday, February 17th
Spurs99Final
Bulls109

Spurs 99

(46-10, 21-8 away)

Bulls 109

(38-16, 25-4 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    8:00 PM ET, February 17, 2011

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    SA 25 26 24 2499
    CHI 30 28 25 26109

    Top Performers

    SA: T. Parker 26 Pts, 1 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Chi: D. Rose 42 Pts, 5 Reb, 8 Ast, 1 Blk

    Bulls nip Spurs for fourth straight win

    Associated Press

    CHICAGO -- Derrick Rose grabbed the microphone and thanked the fans for making him the Chicago Bulls' first All-Star starter since Michael Jordan in 1998. Then he went out and showed why they made a wise decision.

    Rose had a career-high 42 points and the Bulls headed into the break with an impressive 109-99 victory over the NBA-leading San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.

    Luol Deng had 19 points and Carlos Boozer finished with 15 for Chicago, which shot 54 percent in its fourth consecutive win. The Bulls improved to 38-16 after winning 41 games last season.

    "We have a lot of confidence right now, knowing we can beat some of the best teams in the NBA," Rose said. "We just have to keep it going."

    Once again hearing "MVP! MVP!" chants, Rose was at his best when San Antonio challenged Chicago in the fourth quarter. He had 13 points in the final period, answering Spurs baskets with acrobatic drives and long jumpers.

    "What's great about him is that he seems to love the pressure," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "He loves putting the team on his back so to speak."

    Rose's long jumper as the shot clock expired with 3:21 left gave Chicago a 101-90 lead and took the steam out of one San Antonio rally. He also finished with eight assists and five rebounds.

    "That was some performance," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "It was great leadership."

    Tony Parker scored 26 points and All-Star Manu Ginobili added 16 for San Antonio, which had won six of seven. Reserve Gary Neal made four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points.

    "We were not having our best defensive night," Ginobili said. "We didn't move the ball well. We didn't penetrate and kick the way we usually do."

    The Bulls led 83-75 after three quarters and grabbed control early in the fourth. Ronnie Brewer kickstarted a 11-2 run with a dunk and finished it off with a jumper that made it 94-80 with 8:08 remaining.

    Tim Duncan had 14 points and nine rebounds hours after Popovich announced he would replace Yao Ming in the Western Conference's starting lineup for Sunday's All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

    Duncan enters the break with career-low averages in points and rebounds but is a key reason why the Spurs lead the NBA with a 46-10 record.

    "It's a great honor," Duncan said. "I didn't expect to be there this year and I definitely didn't expect to start, so definitely a great honor."

    The Spurs trailed for much of the night in the finale of their annual rodeo road trip but challenged the Bulls with several bursts. Rose and the Bulls had an answer each time while improving to 25-4 at home in their best start at the United Center since the 1997-98 championship team won 25 of its first 27 home games.

    Duncan hit a running hook and Parker converted a three-point play to help the Spurs pull within two with 4:49 left in the third. But Deng stopped the spurt with a 3-pointer and Boozer had three straight points to make it 79-71.

    "The third quarter was huge and then D. Rose took the game over," Boozer said. "All we had to do was get him the ball."

    Even with the loss, it was a banner first half for the Spurs, who set several franchise records for fastest starts. The Spurs went 6-3 on their nine-game trip and open the second half with a three-game homestand.

    "To date we have a good record but nothing of importance has been accomplished yet," Popovich said.

    Rose slithered through the Spurs' stout defense for 21 points in the first half, making 8-of-12 shots from the field. He scored the Bulls' last six points of the second quarter, connecting on a nice runner, a jumper and two free throws to give them a 58-51 lead at the break.

    Game notes


    Parker said he dinged his right knee but was fine. ... Rose was also selected by the fans to participate in Saturday's NBA Skills Challenge against the Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry, Washington Wizards' John Wall, Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook and New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul. ... The Spurs and Bulls split the season series. San Antonio rallied to beat Chicago 103-94 on Nov. 17. ... Deng was shaken up with 9:40 left but stayed in the game. ... Jordan celebrated his 48th birthday on Thursday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    SA
    CHI
    Points 99 109
    FGM-FGA 39-80 (.488) 43-80 (.538)
    3PM-3PA 7-14 (.500) 6-16 (.375)
    FTM-FTA 14-21 (.667) 17-20 (.850)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-29 9-41
    Assists 16 24
    Turnovers 8 10
    Steals 6 2
    Blocks 4 6
    Fast Break Points 15 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 17 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 2 14

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Chicago
    Tony Parker Parker
    Points: 26
    Reb: 1
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1
    Derrick Rose Rose
    Points: 42
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1

    Research Notes

    Having the best record at the All-Star break has been both a blessing and a curse in recent years... The Lakers in 2008-09 and the Celtics the year before rode the momentum to the title. The Mavericks in 2006-07... Not so much... Bounced in the first round by the Warriors.
      [+]

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