This article is cross-posted at Spurs Basketball.
Derrick Rose scored 29 points as the Chicago Bulls stayed on a roll by defeating the San Antonio Spurs 96-89 on Wednesday night in San Antonio.
Rose shook off a scary-looking collision with Tony Parker early that kept him on the floor clutching his right knee for several minutes. However, the reigning MVP never left the game and the Bulls became just the second team to win in San Antonio this season.
Gary Neal led the Spurs with 21 points, DeJuan Blair started out strong and Tim Duncan carried his team in the third quarter, but San Antonio floundered late and had their homecoming spoiled after going 8-1 during a nine-game road trip.
Joakim Noah added 10 points and 13 rebounds for Chicago.
The Bulls have won 11 of 13 and surged ahead for first place in the Eastern Conference.
Duncan finished 18 points and 10 rebounds. He brought the Spurs back from an 11-point deficit in the third quarter after starting out rusty.
The 35 year-old future Hall of Famer scored 12 points in the third quarter and led San Antonio to a 66-65 advantage entering the fourth, while Parker struggled to keep pace with Rose.
Parker finished with 11 points on 5-of-16 shooting and had nine assists.
After scoring 32 points and sinking a crucial jumper with 19.4 seconds left to beat lowly New Orleans on Tuesday night, Rose delivered late again. He scored 13 points in the second half and hit a 9-foot bank shot with 1:46 left that put Chicago up 87-82.
Duncan quickly answered, but on the next possession Rose all but finished off the Spurs. This time it was a tough 18-footer over Duncan’s outstretched hand that put the Bulls up 89-84, and Luol Deng’s 3-pointer with 39.6 seconds left stretched the lead to six and sealed a winning start to Chicago’s three-game road swing.
Danny Green had 11 points for the Spurs, Blair added nine points and nine boards, while C.J. Watson scored 12 points, and Deng finished with 10 points for Chicago.
The Spurs will try to bounce back on Friday night, when they host the Charlotte Bobcats.