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Bulls fall to Cavs despite Rose's 30
COLUMBUS – Derrick Rose scored a game-high 30 points but the visiting Chicago Bulls came up short in a 107-98 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night on the campus of Ohio State University.
For Rose, it was his best performance of the preseason as he connected on 12-of-18 from the field and four-of-five from three-point range. He added five rebounds and three assists in 24 minutes.
"To see him move like that is great for our team," said Joakim Noah of Rose. "He’s our big gun, so to see him play like that and know how hard he’s worked to get there…I just feel like if we just keep improving we can do something special."
Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson recorded 12 points apiece for the Bulls, who dropped to 4-3 in preseason play.
Chicago trailed Cleveland 21-17 at the end of a quarter. The Cavaliers built a double digit lead in the second, but while doing so, Rose was aggressive and attacking the basket. He scored 11 points in his first 10 minutes, making five-of-seven from the field, but the Bulls trailed 44-36 with 2:58 left in the opening half.
It was around that point that Rose turned it on, fueling a 7-0 run that made it a 47-43 game. Then came a stretch where the former NBA MVP connected on back-to-back three-pointers, giving him a 20 points in 13 minutes of first half play.
"I thought he played really well," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said of Rose. "A lot of explosiveness--he got into a good rhythm and he was attacking. The last week or so, his practices have been a lot better and it’s reflective in the way he’s playing. He’s gaining more confidence."
The Bulls went to the half down a basket, 51-49. Though Cleveland would extend its lead in the third frame, Rose continued his impressive play. Through 16 minutes of action, he had tallied 27 points.
Cleveland, however, took an 82-75 advantage into the fourth and its lead was never seriously threatened.
Kyrie Irving led Cleveland (5-1) with 28 points, while Anderson Varejao added 22.
Jimmy Butler missed the game with a left thumb sprain and is listed as day-to-day. Kirk Hinrich started in his place.
The Bulls will conclude their eight-game preseason schedule Friday when they face the Minnesota Timberwolves in St. Louis, Missouri (7:00 p.m. CT | CSN Chicago | ESPN 1000 AM).