Derrick Rose got the better of Jeremy Lin in their first match-up.
The NBA’s most valuable player scored 32 points while Lin finished with 15 and eight assists as hosts Chicago pulled away in the final quarter to hand the slumping New York Knicks their season-high sixth straight loss, 104-99 on Monday night.
Rose admitted he was fired up to play Lin, the much-publicised Knicks starting point guard, who became an overnight international star since being inserted in the rotation several weeks ago.
“Definitely, who’s not right now? He’s a good player and he’s playing well for his team,” said Rose, who added seven assists and six rebounds as the Bulls improved to 10-1 over their last 11 games.
“No matter who I’m playing against, I’m trying to win the match-up.”
Said Lin of Rose’s effort: “He had a great performance. He’s MVP, so hats off to him.”
Taj Gibson had 15 points and 13 rebounds, Carlos Boozer scored 15 as well while Joakim Noah added 12 with 10 boards for the Eastern Conference leaders, who dominated the glass, 56-38.
Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points and Amar’e Stoudemire had 20 for the Knicks, who are winless in March.
Elsewhere San Antonio Spurs downed Washington Wizards 112-107; Boston Celtics beat LA Clippers 94-85; Minnesota Timberwolves edged Phoenix Suns 127-124; Milwaukee Bucks had too much in the home stretch for New Jersey Nets 105-99 and Charlotte Bobcats pipped New Orleans Hornets 73-71.
Also Utah Jazz enjoyed a 105-90 win over Detroit Pistons.