Held to just seven points on 3-of-11 shooting in the first three quarters, Rose - the Bulls’ best offensive player - took over the game in the final 12 minutes.
Rose scored 14 of his club’s first 16 points in the period as the Bulls turned a three-point deficit into an 89-82 lead. The swingman made seven straight shots at one point and finished 8-of-13 from the floor in period.
“I was just trying to be aggressive,” Rose said. “I looked and saw we were down. I just tried to do what I could to help us get a win. I give my teammates credit. They came back to me in the fourth quarter.”
Jamal Crawford offered Rose some help, scoring all seven of his points in the fourth quarter to help the Bulls (21-38) match their win total from last season.
“Obviously, I am always happy to win,” Bulls coach Bill Cartwright said. “But what I am happiest about is I feel our guys are getting better. Are guys are working. They are recognizing situations better, and playing with a little more poise on situations where the game gets tough, especially at the end.”
While Rose and Crawford were the offense in the final period, Curry carried the load for the first three quarters, when he scored 20 of his 24 points.
“My teammates did a great job looking for me,” said Curry, who went 10-of-13 from the floor. “I guess I had a good game tonight. I just try to do what comes natural to me, and that is putting the ball in the basket.”
The Raptors had their biggest lead of the contest at 61-50 with 6:23 left in the third quarter on Vince Carter’s jumper. It still was a 10-point game with just over two minutes left in the quarter following a jumper by Lenard.
But the Bulls closed the quarter on an 8-1 run, pulling within 72-69 entering the final period.
Rose fed Curry for layup to start the fourth quarter before he exploded offensively, doing most of his damage against Carter.
After Curry’s basket, Rose scored his club’s next 14 points that provided the Bulls an 85-80 lead with 6 1/2 minutes left. During the barrage, Rose scored 11 points on jumpers.
“He was hitting tough shots,” Carter said. “It’s not like we weren’t in his face. When he hit three of four in a row, his confidence level went up and he really seemed to hurt us.”
While Rose was going off, Carter was disappearing on offense as he made just 1-of-5 shots and scored four points in the fourth quarter.
Carter finished with 19 points and Morris Peterson added 12 for the Raptors, who shot 41 percent (37-of-91).
The Raptors got as close as 92-89 with 2:48 remaining on Antonio Davis’ dunk. But Crawford answered 17 seconds later with a 3-pointer and Tyson Chandler scored off a tip-in to make it an eight-point game with 2:01 to go.
Chandler led a dominating effort on the boards by grabbing 12 rebounds while Donyell Marshall added 10. Chicago garnered a 53-32 advantage on the glass.
“Jalen obviously hurt us,” Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. “That and rebounds was the key. They really hurt us on the boards. We just gave up too many second shots. That, coupled with Jalen hitting some big, tough shots was the key.”
Thanks to Rose and Curry, who went a combined 15-of-23 from the floor in the secnond half, the Bulls shot 60 percent (24-of-40) after halftime. They struggled to 41.5 percent (17-of-41) in the opening half.
Carter netted 11 points in the first half, helping the Raptors to a 46-42 lead.