Bulls over Jazz 106-98 at United Center

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Chicago Bulls rookie sensation Derrick Rose rang up 24 points Saturday in the Bulls 106-98 victory over the Utah Jazz at the United Center.

Chicago Bulls rookie sensation Derrick Rose rang up 24 points Saturday in the Bulls 106-98 victory over the Utah Jazz at the United Center.

Early in the first quarter, the Bulls would start out sluggish after having their heads handed to them the night before in Boston, losing shamefully to Kevin Garnet and the Celtics in a 126-108 blowout.

"We played a good first-half of basketball," said Bulls Coach Vinny Del Negro about the disappointing loss a night ago in Boston.

"We just allowed the game to slip away in third," Del Negro said.

Although the Bulls would fall behind to the Jazz by as many as 11 points early in the first, with a score of 19-8, they would ultimately match the Jazz with their own run led by the surprise play of Thabo Sefolosha, who finished with 10 points and four steals slicing the Jazz lead to two at 29-27.

"I wanted to stay active on the defensive end," said Sefolosha. "I was able to get in the passing lanes by keeping my hands ready."

After picking up two early fouls in the first, Rose re-entered the game and never looked back, scoring on a barrage of layups and jump-shots, treating Jazz guard Deron Williams as if he were the rookie and Rose was the all-star.

"He’s been doing it all season," Williams said when asked about Rose taking over the game. "He’s a great player. You know, he’s not playing like a rookie. I don’t think he’s a rookie anymore. He’s one of the best point guards in this league, and he definitely took over. Did it in Salt Lake, did it today."

Rose would continue in the fourth, wowing the fans with two fast break jackknife lay ups where he would elevate up and under through Williams and several Jazz defenders. The 6’3, 190 pound point guard from Chicago’s South Side used his speed, frame and quickness to punish Williams on offense. He was aggressive all night.

"I told him (Rose) he needs to be more aggressive off screens," Del Negro said of Rose’s adjustments in the last three quarters. "Instead of going east-west, try using your explosiveness and go north and south."

Rose took the coaches advice, scoring 24 points in 31 minutes on 10-of-17 shooting.

"It’s hard to go north and south off a screen without falling," Rose said with a grin. "I believe the more games I’ll play, I’ll get used to it."

In addition to the Bulls win on Saturday night, Jazz backup power forward Paul Millsap, started in place of Carlos Boozer, extended his double-double streak to 15 straight games with 22 points and 10 boards Saturday — but needed a late-game rebound to do it. Healthy reserve big man Kyrylo Fesenko was inactive for a fourth straight game. Fesenko hasn’t played in the Jazz’s last 11 games. Bulls guard Ben Gordon led all scorers with 26 points. ______ Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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