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Rose lifts Bulls past Raptors

Jan 15, 2009 - 5:43 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Rookie sensation Derrick Rose scored 17 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and collected 10 assists to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 102-98 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.

Andres Nocioni scored 16 points off the bench and Luol Deng added 14 and 13 rebounds for the Bulls, who earned just their second win in their last 10 tries on the road.

Rose took over in the final quarter, slicing through the Raptors' defense and getting to the rim with ease. The University of Memphis product hit 8-of-9 shots in the fourth and finished the game 12-of-18 from the field.

"We were doing a lot of screen-and-rolls and everyone was telling me to be aggressive," Rose said. "I was just driving and looking for my teammates but I was able to get close and I was able to finish. I got some good angles and just drove to the basket."

The Raptors had a chance to win on their last possession, but Chris Bosh's attempt was blocked by Joakim Noah with five seconds left.

"I made a mistake," Bosh said. "Joakim Noah played good defense but I need to keep my dribble next time. It's not the last time I'll be in that situation so I need to learn from it. After he cut off the baseline I made the mistake of picking up my dribble. I knew the clock was ticking down and I wanted to get a shot off."

"It was the last possession of the game and I knew he was going to pump fake, he does that a lot," Noah said. "I didn't go for his first pump fake and the shot clock was going down and I knew he had to get it up and I got my hand on it and got the block. It feels great to win and to be a part of it."

Chicago trailed, 71-68, entering the fourth but scored the first nine points of the period - five by Rose - to take a 77-71 advantage with 9:51 left.

Toronto pulled within one point on two occasions in the next three minutes but was turned away each time by Rose, who drained a 21-foot jumper and sliced through for a layup to push the cushion back to three points.

"He was great," Deng said of Rose. "He was feeling it and we were just trying to give him the ball and get out of the way."

The Raptors finally got a lead back when Anthony Parker's jumper made it 90-89 with 4:22 left, but Ben Gordon hit a 3-pointer, Rose made another short jumper and Kirk Hinrich hit a pair of free throws to push it back to 96-90 in favor of the Bulls.

Rose scored four more points and Deng hit a pair of free throws in the last two minutes to secure the win.

"Derrick was very aggressive on the high screen-and-roll and he was getting to the basket and they did not want to leave our shooters in the corners," Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said. "He made some really nice plays and we tried to push the tempo with a small lineup."

The loss overshadowed a huge game for Andrea Bargnani, who scored a career-high 31 points on 10-of-14 shooting and added 10 rebounds. Bosh added 25 points for Toronto, which has lost three in a row.

"I don't want to think about (the career high) after a loss like that," Bargnani said. "We've lost three games in a row and that's the most important thing right now."

Deng returned to the starting lineup in his second game back since missing eight games with an ankle injury.

"One thing I had in my mind when I was out was that I wanted to come back with a lot of energy," Deng said. "I tried to be more aggressive. We never let our heads get down tonight. When we move the ball the way we did tonight we're a much better team."