Derrick Rose has taken plenty of heat this season from critics who aren’t happy with him not being on the court for every single Bulls game. But when he’s been deemed healthy, he’s been playing like his old self lately, averaging 17.5 ppg and helping Chicago to an 18-9 record. On Monday night, he poured in 29 points against the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 team in the standings (Toronto) including a 15-point explosion in the fourth quarter. The performance prompted Rose to say with confidence after the game that “There’s no way you can take me out of the game, no matter what you do.” As in, opponents can’t stop him from doing what he does. From CSN Chicago:
Rose had arguably his best performance of the season, scoring 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter as the Bulls topped the East-leading Raptors, 129-120, in front of a sellout crowd at the United Center…
Rose played the final 7 minutes of the fourth quarter, reeling off eight points in a two-minute span with an array of jumpers, floaters and drives to the basket that turned what had been a see-saw fourth quarter into a runaway win for the Bulls.
Rose stepped into his jumpers. He attacked the basket with ease. And he played within the offense, feeding off of screens from Joakim Noah and a three-guard lineup the Raptors had no answer for down the stretch.
“There’s no way you can take me out of the game, no matter what you do,” Rose said. “I’m just that confident.”
Rose connected on a 20-footer to open his scoring, and two trips later hit a running floater to extend the Bulls’ lead to three, 98-95. He then hit a pair of contested jumpers to balloon the margin to six, the Bulls’ biggest of the night to that point.
Later in the period he drew multiple defenders in the paint and found Noah wide open underneath the basket to finish with a slam. Rose then put the finishing touches on his dominant quarter with five straight points that pushed the lead to 10 with two minutes to play.
The end result for Rose was 15 points on 6-for-6 shooting. The Bulls scored a franchise-record 49 points in the quarter, with 34 of those coming in the final seven minutes with Rose on the floor. The Bulls didn’t miss a shot from the field with Rose leading the offense, and though Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry added 18 of his 34 points in that final stanza, he couldn’t match Rose’s relenting confidence.