In a return to Memphis, without starting power forward Carlos Boozer, Derrick Rose would notch his first career triple-double as the Chicago Bulls (28-13) defeated the Grizzlies (19-22) 96-84 Monday at the FedExForum.
Rose line read 22 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for the third year point guard, returning to where his spent his lone collegiate year at the nearby University of Memphis.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Grizzlies trailed Chicago 79-62 before making the adjustment of going to a zone which sparked an 8-0 run to give the frustrated squad some sense of hope.
However, their efforts would fall shorts as what was the case for most of the game, they failed to get stops and the Bulls defense limited them to 37% shooting for the game.
“A win is a win no matter how my stats are,” a bashful Rose told reporters after the game.
Rose didn’t even have any knowledge he was close to a triple-double because he was “too caught up in the game.” His last rebound came on a missed field goal by Taj Gibson as time expired.
It was one of the more balanced games for Chicago on the season as they also got a game-high 28 points from Luol Deng and 22 points off the bench from Kyle Korver who shot 6-10 from the three-point line. As a team, the Bulls shot 13-19 from deep.
With Boozer staying in Chicago to receive treatment on a sprained left ankle, Chicago was down its best interior scorer, but with Gibson starting in it’s place, the defense was at its stingiest. Gibson finished the game with 6 blocks, to go along with 10 points and 7 rebounds.
Deng was also able to hold the Grizzlies leading scorer, Rudy Gay to 9 points on 1-10 shooting from the field. Gay appeared frustrated at several points in the game, but the same could be said of his teammates who couldn’t get anything easy.
The Bulls will wrap up a four game in five night swing tomorrow at home against the visiting Charlotte Bobcats (15-24) who fell to Philadelphia 96-92 in overtime on Monday.
The Bobcats defeated Bulls last Wednesday 96-91, since that time, Charlotte has lost three straight and the Bulls three straight.
After struggling with his outside shooting before his game-winning three-point field goal on Saturday against the Miami Heat, it’s safe to say that Korver has regained his stroke.
Kover scored 14 points in the first half, knocking down four straight three-pointers and going 4-5 from deep in the half.
No word yet on Boozer’s status for Tuesdays game.