CHICAGO (AP) — Derrick Rose had 24 points and eight assists in just his second career game in the United Center against his former team, lifting the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 119-94 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 20 points and 20 rebounds as the Timberwolves won their second straight on the road.
Rose, the top pick in the 2008 draft, played his first seven seasons in Chicago and was named the NBA’s most valuable player in 2011. He had missed Minnesota’s previous game with a sore left ankle.
Because of an assortment of injuries, this was just Rose’s fourth career game against the Bulls. He said he got 50 tickets for family and friends.
Zach LaVine had 28 points in 26 minutes off the bench and Lauri Markkanen added 16 for Chicago, which had won two straight and three of five before Wednesday. LaVine had missed the previous five games with a sprained left ankle.
Both Rose and fellow former Bull Taj Gibson received loud ovations when they were announced during player introductions.
Towns scored the game’s first basket, but it was Rose who set the tone early. He repeatedly attacked the basket — showing the form of earlier in his career before the rash of leg injuries — and had 10 points (5-for-8 shooting) and five assists in the first quarter as Minnesota took a 29-18 lead.
The Timberwolves’ advantage was up to 60-37 at halftime.
Rose had 19 points through three quarters as Minnesota took an 83-65 edge into the fourth.
The Bulls pulled within 91-74, but Rose stopped the momentum with a jumper and Dario Saric added a 3-pointer on the next possession for a 96-74 lead with just over seven minutes remaining.
Later in the fourth, the UC crowd started chanting, “MVP… MVP… MVP…” when Rose stepped to the foul line to complete a 3-point play.
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