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Thursday, February 17, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 109, Spurs 99

By Nick Friedell

CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned a 109-99 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night at the United Center.

How it happened: Derrick Rose had another huge night, scoring a career-high 42 points, dishing out eight assists and grabbing five rebounds. Luol Deng added 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists of his own. Tony Parker had 26 points for the Spurs, but it wasn't enough, as Rose took over the game and had fans at the United Center chanting, "MVP, MVP," throughout the night.

What it means: Rose said he wanted to make a statement against one of the league's best teams. Well, mission accomplished. As he's done all season, Rose dominated the game at various points and carried the Bulls to another win. He is playing with more confidence than at any other point in his career. Not surprisingly, so is his team. The Bulls feel like they can beat any team in the league if they play defense like they're supposed to. That's a scary combination for the rest of the league as we head into the last two months of the regular season.

Stat of the night: The Bulls outrebounded the Spurs 41-29.

What's next: The Bulls head into the All-Star break 22 games over .500. And the best news of all if you're a Bulls fan is that they've done it without having their entire team healthy and playing together all season. Joakim Noah is expected to return Wednesday in Toronto when the Bulls play the Raptors. There's no question Tom Thibodeau and his team will enjoy these next few days off.