OAKLAND, Calif. – This was the perfect road trip for a Derrick Rose hostile takeover.
Jimmy Butler had been struggling and was out for the first game with an illness, Pau Gasol had been inconsistent and Joakim Noah had an APB out for his conditioning.
So why not let the $20 million-a-year franchise player do what supposed superstars are expected to do? Put the team on his shoulders and help carry them through rocky waters.
So far, mission accomplished.
Thanks to 30 points from the Bulls point guard, including the game-winner with 8.4 seconds left in overtime, the Bulls ended the 19-game home winning streak of the Warriors 113-111.
Yes, the same Jekyll and Hyde Bulls team that beat San Antonio and Dallas in back-to-back games last week and then played a dog game against Miami on Sunday.
“Anybody can get momentum or anybody can get the feeling that they can beat anybody when you beat a team like this,’’ Rose said of the win. “Our biggest thing was coming out and competing with them.’’
Which didn’t look like it was possible early on.
Forget no Butler or Mike Dunleavy (right ankle). The Bulls (30-17) looked like it would be another long night in that first quarter when red-hot Klay Thompson came out and scored 15 first-quarter points for the early 35-29 lead.
But every time it looked like the Warriors (36-7) were pulling away, there was an answer from the visiting team.
Despite a career-worst 11 turnovers and just a 13-for-33 shooting night, often it was Rose.
“I knew going into the game when I saw Jimmy was out with some type of illness it was on me to shoot the ball, but I’ve been ready for it,’’ Rose said. “Missed a lot of shots, but it’s not about that. It’s about winning, and I was just trying to stay close.’’
If it wasn’t for Kirk Hinrich, however, Rose wouldn’t have had that chance to play hero.
The veteran guard hit the three-point shot with 15.8 seconds in regulation to put the Bulls up two. The Warriors, however, weren’t just going to let that home winning streak leave the building easily, as Draymond Green had the tip-in with 2.6 seconds left.
“I felt like I couldn’t afford to turn down any shots,’’ Hinrich said. “I felt like I turned one down and was a little tentative, so I just wanted to be ready. Derrick had confidence in me and threw me the ball, so I just shot it.’’
It was the one and only assist Rose had on the night, as he became the first player to finish with 30 points, 11 turnovers and one assist in an NBA game.
Quite the stat line.
“Very aggressive,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said of Rose’s night. “The thing that’s hard when you play these guys is the amount of energy you have to exert defensively and Derrick also ran the team.
“The fight in the team to take the dagger by giving up those second shots at the end of regulation and then bounce back in overtime. … a great team win for us.’’
And another huge boost of confidence for Rose.
“Missing two years, coming out competing, and if anyone was to see me play or whatever, my goal was to make it look like I haven’t missed any years or missed a game,’’ Rose said. “I guess it’s coming, but I’ve got to continue to work and continue to put every game behind me.
“I want the moments, I want that shot. My teammates gave me the ball to take the shot. And it looks good on the resume. I’m not running away from shots, I’m not turning them down. If anything my teammates are going to give me the ball to take the shot, so that’s a good feeling.’’