Derrick Rose put together one brilliant flourish, and it was just enough to will the Bulls to another victory.
And earn another MVP endorsement, too.
Rose scored Chicago’s last 6 points, including an acrobatic layup that led to a crucial 3-point play, and the Bulls beat the rugged Memphis Grizzles, 99-96, last night in Chicago.
Rose made two free throws with 2:18 left to give Chicago the lead, then drove past Tony Allen and converted over Marc Gasol with 10.8 seconds remaining to increase the advantage to 97-93. Once again hearing those “MVP!’’ chants, Rose made the resulting free throw.
Rose finished with 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists for Chicago, which has won 11 of 12 and 18 of 21. Luol Deng scored 23 and Carlos Boozer added 12 points and nine boards.
The Bulls extended their home winning streak to 14 games and increased their lead in the Eastern Conference to two over Boston.
Kings 110, Pacers 93 — DeMarcus Cousins had 18 points and 14 rebounds to help Sacramento win in Indianapolis.
Samuel Dalembert had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Francisco Garcia scored 16 points, and Marcus Thornton added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Kings, who have won four of their last seven.
Lakers 112, Clippers 104 — Kobe Bryant scored 37 points, Pau Gasol added 26 points and eight rebounds, and the host Lakers never trailed in their 14th victory in 15 games since the All-Star break.
During a game filled with flashy plays and two more jaw-dropping alley-oop dunks by rookie Blake Griffin, the Lakers maintained a steady lead over their cross-hallway rivals for their NBA-leading 10th wire-to-wire win of the season.
Hornets 106, Suns 100 — Carl Landry, starting in place of injured David West, scored 19 points and visiting New Orleans pulled out a victory, sinking Phoenix further out of the Western Conference playoff race.
Chris Paul led five Hornets in double figures with 22 points. Jarrett Jack added 17, Trevor Ariza 16, and Willie Green 15.
Warriors 138, Raptors 100 — Monta Ellis had 27 points and 10 assists, Dorell Wright finished with 26 points and host Golden State scored an NBA season-high 84 points in the first half in a rout of Toronto.
Heat 111, 76ers 99 — Dwyane Wade scored 39 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, LeBron James finished with 32 points and 10 rebounds, and host Miami went on two huge scoring runs to beat Philadelphia.
Thunder 111, Timberwolves 103 — Kevin Durant scored 23 points, Russell Westbrook added 19 points while matching a season-high with five steals and Oklahoma City used a balanced attack to beat visiting Minnesota.
Trail Blazers 98, Spurs 96 — Nicolas Batum scored over Tony Parker at the buzzer and host Portland edged San Antonio.
Cavaliers 97, Pistons 91 — J.J. Hickson scored 24 points and Baron Davis hit a critical 3-pointer with 9.9 seconds remaining, leading Cleveland over visiting Detroit.
Nuggets 114, Wizards 94 — Chris Andersen grabbed 11 rebounds and was one of four Denver players to score 17 points as the Nuggets beat visiting Washington.
Bucks 102, Knicks 96 — Brandon Jennings scored a season-high 37 points, 16 during Milwaukee’s second straight dominant start against New York, and the Bucks sent the host Knicks to their fifth consecutive loss.
Magic 95, Nets 85 — Dwight Howard had 21 points and 14 rebounds and Hedo Turkoglu added 20 points and 13 assists to help Orlando hold off visiting New Jersey.