If he keeps this up, opponents are in trouble.
“A bruise is going to heal each day, so it’s nothing that I should worry about,” he said. “Tomorrow, it should feel even better than today.”
Rose was certainly feeling it against the Knicks.
Achy after getting knocked to the court on a foul by Orlando’s Dwight Howard(notes) last week, he shook it off with a dominant performance as the Bulls matched their most lopsided win of the season and handed the Knicks their fourth straight loss and 13th in 17 games.
An early layup triggered some pain. It didn’t stop Rose, though.
Rose buried all seven shots while scoring 15 in the first quarter and was 14 for 18 in all, just missing his sixth 30-point game.
David Lee(notes) led New York with 24 points and 12 rebounds, but the Knicks were simply overmatched by Rose and the Bulls. They shot 34.6 percent, were blocked nine times and were dominated on the boards 49-38 in the first of back-to-back games with Chicago.
“They just overwhelmed us physically,” coach Mike D’Antoni said.
Both teams could have a different look by the end of the week, with the trade deadline approaching. For the Knicks, that might not be a bad thing, considering they’ve dropped 13 of 17.
The Bulls weren’t exactly lighting it up either, dropping four of six before the All-Star break, but they did just that this time.
After taking the big hit from Howard, the All-Star guard was the one connecting on Tuesday.
He mixed in floaters, drives and jumpers in the early going, yet despite his dominant start, the Bulls were up just 29-28 through the first quarter. They finally started to pull away late in the second, outscoring the Knicks 15-6 over the final four minutes to take a 64-50 lead into halftime.
Brad Miller(notes) started that run with a neat drop stop and Rose buried a baseline jumper, making him 9 for 9 and extending the lead to 53-44. He finally missed when he pulled up for a jumper with just over two minutes left, but Hinrich added a 3-pointer. Deng hit a layup and Rose converted a finger roll off a nice crossover to make it 60-48 with 40 seconds left, before New York’s Jared Jeffries(notes) ended the half with two free throws.
Any thoughts of a comeback quickly vanished as Rose led the Bulls on an 8-0 run to open the second half. After Hinrich started it with a pull-up jumper, Rose buried a 21-footer and added a 17-footer after a put-back by Taj Gibson(notes) to make it 72-50.
“When he’s hitting that jump shot, he’s especially tough to handle,” Lee said. “He’s so strong. When he starts going to the basket, he’s so good finishing. He’s one of the best finishers as far as guards are concerned in the league.”
NOTES: The teams meet again Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. … The 33-point margin matches the Bulls’ 120-87 win over Detroit on Jan. 11. They also shot 57.1 percent in that game, which was their season high. … The Bulls also set season highs by making 52 field goals and dishing out 30 assists. … Joakim Noah(notes) missed his fifth straight game with plantar fasciitis in his left foot and shook his head “no” after the game when asked if he was going to New York. The Bulls also play at Minnesota on Friday, and Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro indicated before the game that Noah might stay home even though there was some improvement. “We’ll see if we’re going to take him on the trip,” coach Vinny Del Negro said. “If not, we’ll keep him here and get some therapy and we’ll re-evaluate him on Saturday when we get back.”