Chicago Sun-Times

Rose's buzzer-beating bomb burns Bucks, 106-104

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Truth be told, there is a ''Udonis Haslem Option'' when Derrick Rose has the ball with the game on the line in the final seconds of the game. But where that might be Plan B for some guys, it's Plan E or F at best for Rose.

Rose capped another sterling performance at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee with a Jordan Moment, dribbling down the final 18 seconds in a tie game before pulling up for a 20-foot jumper over Brandon Jennings at the buzzer to give the Bulls a 106-104 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.

''[My mindset] was to take the last shot,'' said Rose, who had hit 7-of-21 shots prior to the game-winner. ''I knew they were going to be playing me pretty tough. Brandon was pressuring me pretty good. And I had the opportunity to get space and make that last shot.''

Rose's winning shot, which was so true it barely rippled the net, capped a 30-point performance before a partisan Bulls crowd at the Bradley Center. Rose also had 11 assists and eight rebound and hit 14-of-14 free throws. The Bulls have won eight straight against the Bucks, with Rose averaging 24 points and 9.9 assists.

''It's a great feeling,'' Rose said. ''If anything, we're just happy that we got the win -- trying to keep this thing going, where we're playing pretty good. We've to polish some things up on the defensive end and play together.''

Rose had hit several big shots in his career but never a true buzzer-beater like Wednesday night.

''I remember a few years back I was missing those shots,'' Rose said. ''I think it's a thing where you just learn from it. My last couple of end-of-game shots were floaters. It seemed like he was backing up a little bit and I just pulled up.''

That the Bucks defended the play well only added to the frustration of the Bucks and former Bulls coach Scott Skiles, who continues to be tormented by a world-class player the Bulls drafted six months after firing Skiles.

''I thought the play was defended well,'' Bulls coach. He made a tough shot. Sometimes that happens.''

Rose said the Bucks' defensive strategy -- protecting against the drive but single- single covered by Jennings -- made his strategy pretty simple.

''I was going to shoot the floater again, but [Jennings] was sagging off when I started to get into my move and that's what made me shoot it.''

As a junior at Simeon, Rose hit a tie-breaking shot with one second left in overtime to win the Class AA state championship game over Peoria Richwoods, 31-29. He's had few true buzzer-beaters since then, but a lot of big shots.

''It's up there,'' Rose said when asked where this one ranked among the big shots he's hit in his career. ''Hopefully I get some more in my career, like in the playoffs or something like that. I'm just blessed that I'm on this team and they gave me the ball at the end. It shows how much respect they have for me, so much confidence they have for me.''

Though he's soft-spoken and reserved, Rose still has an appreciation for the legacy he's building as an NBA star playing in his hometown.

''That's something I look at,'' he said. ''I know I'm young, but I think about that stuff. When I'm done with this game, I want to be a great.''

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on March 7, 2012 11:39 PM.

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