Derrick Rose scores career-high 50 points in emotional win without Jimmy Butler

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen this Derrick Rose.

In fact, we’ve never seen it.

Derrick Rose scores career high in win

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Rose turned back the clock on Wednesday to drop a career-high 50 points, surpassing his previous career high of 42, while leading the Timberwolves to a 128-125 win over the Utah Jazz.

Rose did it all, scoring from distance, at the rim and on the free throw line, including icing the game with a pair of free throws for the game’s final points.

The last time Rose eclipsed 40 points was his MVP season in 2011. Fifty is a threshold nobody saw coming after Rose’s injury-induced decline.

Emotional moment for Rose

It was an emotional moment for Rose when the game was over.

“Everything,” Rose said when asked what the game meant to him. “I worked my ass off, bro. I went and did this for the franchise, the organization, the fans, everybody man.

“I played my heart out. My teammates told me before the game, just play my game. And tonight was a hell of a night.”

Timberwolves down 2 starters vs. Jazz

The Timberwolves took the floor Wednesday without disgruntled star Jimmy Butler, who was officially sitting for “rest,” but reportedly declining to take the floor as part of his ploy to force a trade.

Starting point guard Jeff Teague also sat on Wednesday, creating a scoring void in the lineup that Rose eagerly filled.

Derrick Rose turned back the clock Wednesday to drop a career high 50 points to lead Minnesota past Utah. (AP)
Derrick Rose turned back the clock Wednesday to drop a career high 50 points to lead Minnesota past Utah. (AP)

Rose scored from all over the floor

Rose finished the night with 50 points, six assists, four rebounds, two steals and a block of Dante Exum on Utah’s last-second game-tying shot attempt. But it was his scoring that obviously stole the show. He hit 19-of-31 field goals, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range. He finished 8-for-11 at the free throw line.

It was definitely not a standard shooting night for the career 29.6 percent 3-point shooter.

Quantity and quality

There were no garbage-time buckets to be had in this game. The game was tightly contested throughout and not secured for the Timberwolves until a flurry of late 3-point attempts from the Jazz failed.

Rose dominated the ball in the game’s final minutes, confidently attacking the rim and pulling up from three to keep pace with the Jazz. He scored 15 of his points in the fourth quarter, including six of the final seven Timberwolves points.

Long road for Rose

Multiple knee injuries derailed Rose’s career after his star skyrocketed when he joined the NBA in 2008. The 2008-09 rookie of the year made All-Star teams his next three seasons and won the league MVP in the 2010-11 season.

An ACL tear cost him the entire next season, and he has been relegated to a role player for much of his career since.

His performance Wednesday defined inspired and was recognized by his teammates, who delivered a celebratory shower in the locker room.

Overshadowed another big T’Wolves performance

Karl-Anthony Towns, who has struggled much of this young season in the wake of the Butler drama, also had a big night for the Timberwolves. Towns scored 28 points to go with 16 rebounds and four assists while hitting 4-of-9 3-pointers.

It was the kind of night that would have garnered its own headline on any other night that Butler was absent from the court. But Towns surely was glad to take second billing on such a special night for a player admired and respected throughout the NBA.

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