Rose scores 39, Bulls edge MagicApr 11, 2011 - 12:05 AM Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - MVP candidate Derrick Rose made 13-of-17 shots en route to 39 points, as the Chicago Bulls held off the Orlando Magic, 102-99.
Orlando seemed to tie the game at the buzzer, but Jameer Nelson's three- pointer failed to leave his hand before the horn sounded.
Rose went 10-of-10 from the foul line and dished out five assists for Chicago, which clinched the No. 1 seed in the East with Friday's win in Cleveland. The Bulls will play Indiana in the first round of the playoffs and are the East's top team since the 1997-98 campaign, when the Michael Jordan-led Bulls won their third straight and sixth NBA title in eight years.
Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer added 15 and 12 points, respectively, for Chicago, which has won seven in a row.
"We were very fortunate, they made 12 threes," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We got lucky."
Ryan Anderson finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Magic, who were without Dwight Howard and Quentin Richardson. Howard collected his 18th technical foul of the season in Wednesday's 111-102 overtime win in Charlotte, while Richardson was slapped with a two-game suspension for shoving Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson in the face during a heated exchange in the fourth quarter.
Jason Richardson tallied 24 points for Orlando, which is entrenched at the No. 4 spot in the East.
"We can't look forward. We can't pass anybody off in the playoffs," Nelson said. "We still have two games to finish in the regular season. We'll take care of those games and go into the playoffs feeling good about ourselves."
Boozer made two free throws with 1:26 to play to give Chicago a 97-96 edge. The Bulls had a chance to extend their lead after Nelson missed a jumper. Rose, though, turned the ball over.
Brandon Bass was then stripped under the basket by Ronnie Brewer. The ball went out with 32.3 seconds to go, giving the ball back to Chicago.
Rose drove to the hoop and drew a double team while in the air. The acrobatic guard dished off to Taj Gibson, who was fouled. He made only the first of two foul shots, but Deng pulled down a key offensive rebound.
A pair of free throws from Rose gave the Bulls a 100-96 edge with 9.9 ticks left. Jason Richardson kept the Magic in the game with a three-pointer.
Nelson's shot was called off after Boozer made two from the charity stripe with two seconds to play.
Holding a 26-24 edge with three minutes left in the first quarter, Chicago scored the final six points of the period. Rose, who had 15 points in the frame, made two free throws and a layup to make it a 32-24 game.
The Bulls built a 43-32 lead on Kyle Korver's trey with 6:41 remaining. But an ensuing 14-3 run by the Magic tied things up at 46-46. Chicago took a 50-49 edge into the locker room.
A back-and-forth third quarter, which saw five lead changes, ended with the Bulls holding an 80-77 margin.
The Bulls took three of four from the Magic this season...Chicago has won six in a row on the road...The Bulls shot 60 percent from the field...Nelson had 17 points and 11 assists...Howard's suspension was for just one game.
- CHICAGO: 102
Apr 10 3:35 PM
- CHICAGO: 80
End of 3rd
Apr 10 2:45 PM
- CHICAGO: 50
Apr 10 1:58 PM
- CHICAGO: 32
End of 1st
Apr 10 1:27 PM
- CHICAGO: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 10 1:03 PM
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