CHICAGO - Derrick Rose remembered the celebration the last time the Chicago Bulls met Toronto. He wasn't about to let the Raptors yuck it up this time.
Rose had 36 points and 10 assists, and Chicago took another step toward the top seed in the Eastern Conference with its 15th victory in 17 games, hanging on to beat the short-handed Raptors, 113-106, on Saturday night.
The Bulls lead Miami by three games and Boston by 31/2. They also are within one of San Antonio for the NBA’s best record after squeezing by one of the league’s weakest teams.
Rose scored at least 30 for the third time in five games and got a measure of revenge for a perceived slight in a loss at Toronto in late February.
“I just remember them celebrating after they won back in Toronto,” he said.
To Rose, it was embarrassing.
“When you see people celebrating when they normally don’t do that if you watch other games after they win, it kind of gets to you, especially being the person that I am,” he said. “I just try to feed off of anything, where by nature I’m just a quiet guy trying to get along with a lot of people.”
Jerryd Bayless, charged with the unenviable task of guarding Rose, had nothing but praise for him.
“That’s what an MVP is I guess,” Bayless said. “I think he should be it. I can’t speak highly enough about him.”
Thanks in part to his star, Tom Thibodeau broke Phil Jackson’s club record for wins by a first-year coach as the Bulls improved to 56-20, but Rose was hardly alone.
Carlos Boozer added 18 points and 10 rebounds.