He got a shot Wednesday night and made the most of it.
Rooks scored nine points, grabbed seven of his season-high 12
rebounds in the fourth quarter and blocked Jalen Rose's potential
game-tying shot with 3.6 seconds remaining as the Clippers topped
the Chicago Bulls 77-75.
"It was his best all-around game since he's been here,"
Clippers coach Alvin Gentry said. "He was really active
defensively. I thought he showed great leadership out there. He
rebounded the ball as well as he has since he's been here."
Averaging 14 minutes in 34 games coming in, Rooks played 32
minutes including all 12 in the fourth quarter while starting
center Michael Olowokandi was on the bench.
Olowokandi shot 2-of-15 and scored four points in 29 minutes.
Lamar Odom, another starter, also didn't play in the fourth
period after shooting 2-of-7 and scoring four points in 20 minutes.
"I'm trying to win a game," Gentry said. "I played the guys
who were playing well."
The Clippers outscored the Bulls 16-8 down the stretch in
snapping a three-game losing streak and winning for only the fifth
time in 17 games.
"We really needed this one," Rooks said. "We felt it slipping
Regarding his 32-minute stint, Rooks smiled and said: "You know
how it is -- finally, man."
Corey Maggette led the Clippers with 25 points including five
free throws in the final 1:07.
Andre Miller added 12 points before being ejected and Elton
Brand had 10 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Rooks also had three blocks.
Maggette's two foul shots with 1:07 remaining snapped a 72-all
tie and put the Clippers ahead for good.
The teams traded misses before Brand blocked a shot by Jalen
Rose with about 25 seconds remaining. Maggette made two free throws
three seconds later to put the Clippers up by four.
Jamal Crawford was fouled by Marko Jaric while attempting a
3-pointer with 15.4 seconds left and made all three free throws to
make it 76-75.
Maggette made another foul shot less than a second later, but
missed the second. With the Bulls out of timeouts, Rose drove for
the basket, but had his shot blocked by Rooks.
The Bulls then turned the ball over on the inbound pass and the
Clippers ran out the clock.
When asked if he was fouled by Rooks, Rose replied: "In the
heat of battle, you always second-guess yourself. I probably should
have pulled up and shot a short jumper. Then there wouldn't be a
question of whether I got fouled or not."
Rose led Chicago with 24 points. Donyell Marshall added 14
points and nine rebounds and Crawford had 14 points and six assists
for the Bulls, whose 2-21 road record is the worst in the NBA.
"If there was a game we felt like we should have won more than
any other game this year, this was the one," Bulls coach Bill
Cartwright said. "We had guys just not show up.
"Who was good? Nobody."
Both teams shot poorly -- the Clippers went 27-of-87 (31 percent)
and the Bulls 28-of-84 (33.3 percent).
The Bulls led by as many as nine points in the third quarter
before the Clippers scored eight straight points to draw within one
early in the final period.
Miller was ejected with 7:18 to play by referee Bob Delaney.
Miller thought he was fouled while missing from close range and
protested angrily, leading to a technical foul and his ejection.
The Bulls led 37-30 at the end of an ugly first half, with the
30 points a season-low for the Clippers.
Los Angeles shot a miserable 12-of-51 (23.5 percent) in the
opening 24 minutes. The Bulls weren't much better at 15-of-46 (32.6
The Clippers have won five straight over Chicago. Before
that, the Bulls won nine in a row and 26 of 29 between the teams.
... The game was the first for Rose since he was snubbed in the
All-Star selection process. ``It's every player's dream to be an
All-Star and win a championship,'' he said before the game. ``To
say I'm going to go out and prove a point is redundant. I've
already done that.'' Rose is the NBA's eighth-leading scorer,
averaging 23.1 points per game. ... Chicago's two road victories
came at Boston, 99-96 in their season-opener, and 115-102 at
Atlanta on Jan. 20.