CHICAGO — Derrick Rose had a career-high 42 points and the Chicago Bulls headed into the All-Star break with an impressive 109-99 victory over the NBA-leading San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.
Luol Deng had 19 points and Carlos Boozer finished with 15 for Chicago, which shot 54 percent in its fourth consecutive win. The Bulls improved to 38-16 after winning 41 games last season.
Once again hearing “M-V-P! M-V-P!” chants, Rose was at his best when San Antonio challenged Chicago in the fourth quarter. He had 13 points in the final period, answering Spurs baskets with acrobatic drives and long jumpers.
Rose’s long jumper as the shot clock expired with 3:21 left gave Chicago a 101-90 lead and took the steam out of one San Antonio rally. He also finished with eight assists and five rebounds.
Tony Parker scored 26 points and All-Star Manu Ginobili added 16 for San Antonio, which had won six of seven. Reserve Gary Neal made four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points.
Chicago led 83-75 after three quarters and grabbed control early in the fourth. Ronnie Brewer kickstarted a 11-2 run with a dunk and finished it off with a jumper that made it 94-80 with 8:08 remaining.
Tim Duncan had 14 points and nine rebounds hours after Spurs coach Gregg Popovich announced he would replace Yao Ming in the Western Conference’s starting lineup for Sunday’s All-Star game in Los Angeles.
Duncan enters the break with career-low averages in points and rebounds, but is a key reason why San Antonio leads the NBA with a 46-10 record.
The Spurs trailed for much of the night in the finale of their annual rodeo road trip but challenged Chicago with several bursts. Rose and the Bulls had an answer each time while improving to 25-4 at home in their best start at the United Center since 1997-98 championship team won 25 of its first 27 home games.
Duncan hit a running hook and Parker converted a three-point play to help San Antonio pull within two with 4:49 left in the third. But Deng stopped the spurt with a 3-pointer and Boozer had three straight points to make it 79-71.
Even with the loss, it was a banner first half for San Antonio, which set several franchise records for fastest starts. The Spurs went 6-3 on their nine-game trip and open the second half with a three-game homestand.
Rose grabbed a microphone before the game and thanked the fans for making him Chicago’s first All-Star starter since Michael Jordan in 1998.
The dynamic point guard then put on another show as the Bulls finished a strong start to the season that established them as one of the NBA elite teams once again.
Rose slithered through San Antonio’s stout defense for 21 points in the first half, making eight of 12 shots from the field. He scored Chicago’s last six points of the second quarter, connecting on a nice runner, a jumper and two free throws to give the Bulls a 58-51 lead at the break.
•Mavericks 116, Kings 100
DALLAS — Jason Kidd scored 17 points in the third quarter and Rodrigue Beaubois lived up to high expectations for his season debut with 13 points and six assists, carrying the Dallas Mavericks to a victory over the Sacramento Kings.
Dallas broke the game open with a 24-4 spurt late in the third quarter powered mostly by 3-pointers by Kidd, several of which Beaubois set up. The Mavs matched their biggest margin of victory and won for the 12th time in 13 games.
Jermaine Taylor scored a career-high 17 points, but Sacramento lost for the seventh time in eight games. The Kings were playing their second straight game without Tyreke Evans, their leading scorer at 18.3 points per game, because of a foot injury.
Kidd scored 20 points, making six 3-pointers and another long shot from just inside the arc. He didn’t even play the final quarter as the only question then was how much Dallas would win by. They led by as many as 26.
The Mavericks have had trouble holding big leads, so this was a bit of a breakthrough — but only a bit. They let a 13-point halftime lead fizzle into a tie over the first five minutes of the third quarter, only to pull away again.
Dallas had eight players in double figures, including five guys off the bench. Among the reserves, Brendan Haywood had a season-high 12 points and 10 rebounds, and J.J. Barea had 11 points and 10 assists.
Yet for the Mavericks, this game was all about the youngster beloved locally as “Roddy B.”
An energetic, athletic guard, he scored 16 points in 21 minutes in final game of last season’s playoffs and was hailed as the team’s budding star. Anticipation built all summer, then he broke his foot during a practice with the French national team before the world championships. He was expected to return the first month of the season, but a setback led to the long delay, which only added to the anticipation.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban joked before the game that Beaubois would come out wearing a Superman cape and enter to the Mighty Mouse theme. Instead, he was greeted by a pregame video clip from the movie “Rudy,” with his head superimposed and fans chanting “Rod-dy! Rod-dy!” He entered just over 2 minutes into the game, drawing a standing ovation.
Beaubois grabbed a loose ball near the foul line and turned it into a scooping layup. Soon after, he outjumped 7-foot teammate Tyson Chandler for a rebound and zoomed ahead of everyone else for a hardly contested layup.
Fans were still oohing and aahing when he threw a pass straight to a Sacramento player on Dallas’ next possession. He did it again on the next possession, only to bounce back with a steal and another breakaway layup, only this time he added some sizzle by smartly switching the ball to his left hand when a defender cut across to his right side reaching for the steal.
Before the game, coach Rick Carlisle said he was among those excited about Beaubois because “you don’t know what to expect.”
“He isn’t just a kid with natural ability,” Carlisle said. “He’s a special player and he’s learned about what it takes in terms of work to get there.”
NOTES: Dallas took a season-low six free throws — none by starters. ... This was the third of seven straight road games for the Clippers. ... The previous Wednesday, the Mavericks beat the Kings by only two points in Sacramento. Evans’ absence and Beaubois’ return certainly were part of the difference. ... With speculation about the Mavericks being involved in the Carmelo Anthony trade talks, Cuban joked that his only proposal is for he and Anthony to try buying the New York Mets. ... Among the biggest cheers of the night: when it was announced that the Cavaliers beat the Lakers. Dallas and Los Angeles started the day with the same number of wins, but with the Mavs percentage points ahead in the Western Conference standings.