by Adam Figman | @afigman

Chicago 109, San Antonio 99

With chants of “MVP! MVP!” raining down from all angles, Derrick Rose did everything in his power to live up to those words, scoring 42 points and leading the Bulls over the League-best Spurs at home. DRose did it all: got to the hole at will, distributed the ball (8 dimes), provided efficiency from the line (6-6), and, most importantly, converted big bucket after big bucket as Chicago earned the W. The Bulls shot 53.8 percent from the field, and onlookers learned what it takes to beat the Spurs: an MVP-like performance from a superstar and a well-rounded, super-efficient effort from the role players. That too much to ask, everyone else?

Dallas 112, Phoenix 106

This matchup might’ve been a lot more entertaining over most of the last half-decade than it was yesterday, but these two still battled back-and-forth and provided some solid Thursday night, pre-All-Star fodder. The Mavs held onto a single-digit lead in the final few minutes, snatching the win and upping their record to 40-16. Dirk Nowitzki, apparently inspired by Derrick Rose, also put up an MVP-caliber performance, dropping 35 points (though he grabbed only 1 rebound), as Dallas picked up its third straight victory and will take some positive momentum into the break. For the Suns, Steve Nash had 15 points and 14 dimes, and I ask you, SLAM Fam: What do the Suns do with Stevie? Is he really worth holding onto, over trading him out for some youth/Draft picks and just re-building already?

Last Call: No wild highlights from last night, so I’ll wrap this up with the following: Trust me, you’re gonna want to stay around these parts for the next few days. We’ll have recaps of all the best events, live-blogs of the games/competitions each night, plus much, much more. See y’all next week.