Rose, Bulls outlast Rubio and T-Wolves
MANILA, Philippines -- Reigning NBA most valuable player Derrick Rose scored 31 points and dished out 11 assists to propel the Chicago Bulls past the plucky Minnesota Timberwolves, 111-100, on the road.
The Wolves made it a close game in the second half after coming back from 24-points down in the second quarter, thanks to Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio, who keyed a 20-2 exchange.
But Rose stepped up his game in the fourth quarter, keeping the Wolves at bay with a one-handed jumpshot with 2:30 to go, and then draining the dagger three-pointer with 1:11 left that gave the Bulls a nine-point lead, 109-100.
"At the end we just found a way to win," Rose said in an interview with Yahoo! Sports.
Rubio continued his impressive start to the season with 13 points and 12 assists, while Kevin Love had 20 points and 13 boards.
But the Wolves found themselves into too deep of a hole and had no answer for Rose down the stretch.
"It happens a lot of times that we played and we are down, and then it's when we react," Rubio said. "If we want to win, we have to start from the beginning."
In Memphis, Russell Westbrook exploded for 30 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder survived a spirited effort from the Memphis Grizzlies, 105-100.
OKC's All-Star forward Kevin Durant struggled with his shot but still finished with a double-double of 22 points and 11 boards.
Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 20 points and 14 rebounds, but they have now lost 3 straight games without injured power forward Zach Randolph.
The Thunder have won four straight games.
Defending NBA champions Dallas Mavericks routed the Detroit Pistons, 100-86, while the Milwaukee Bucks booked a minor upset of the San Antonio Spurs, 106-103.