ATLANTA - As Derrick Rose strolled to the scorer's table during the Chicago Bulls' astonishing second quarter Tuesday night, C.J. Watson unfurled an acrobatic reverse layup between two Hawks.
Rose pumped his fist, screamed – and then replaced Watson on the floor.
That’s how well it has gone lately for Chicago, which put on a stunning display in their 114-81 victory, pushing them one-half game ahead of Boston in the race for the Eastern Conference’s top playoff seed.
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The Bulls reacted to their second blowout in as many nights with the same business-like approach that has defined their season. This is the first time Chicago has won two straight games by 30 or more points since Jan. 10-11, 1995. Coupled with Monday’s 40-point victory over the Kings, the Bulls set a franchise mark for largest combined margin of victory in back-to-back games.
“Coach (Tom Thibodeau) always says if we want to be the team we want to be, we have to put more into it,” said Rose, an MVP contender. “That’s what we’re doing. We’re pushing ourselves. We can’t be satisfied where we are now.”
Rose’s 30 points featured a career-high six 3-pointers and he added 10 assists.