Rose scored a season-high 34 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 107-100 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.
"I thought he was very aggressive and that set the tone for us," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "He is feeling a lot better and he was in attack mode."
Rose outdueled Milwaukee counterpart Brandon Jennings, hitting 14 of 24 from the floor and scoring 18 of his points in the second half.
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"I talked to Thibs before the game, at shootaround, and he was showing me film of me just attacking," Rose said. "That's what I tried to do out there."
The Bulls are set to leave for a season-longest nine-game road trip, beginning with a showdown Sunday in Miami against the Heat.
"When we lose a game, guys are amped up to come out and play again," Rose said. "You can tell just at practice. Everybody is just focused in."
Jennings led Milwaukee with 25 points and seven rebounds. Rookie Jon Leuer scored all 19 of his points in the second half.
"The offensive rebounding," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "We had trouble with that all night long. And Derrick went on a little spurt there too. All that kind of happened at once."
The Bucks played without center Andrew Bogut, who fractured his left ankle in a win at Houston on Wednesday. The Bucks are now 0-6 without Bogut this season.
Former Bull Drew Gooden started in place of Bogut and had 23 points, 15 rebounds and six assists.
"We played as hard as possible on both ends of the court," Gooden said. "But that wasn't our best basketball. We know that. Kind of use the Bulls as a measuring stick."
With Bogut out, the Bulls took advantage, scoring 56 points in the paint and getting 20 offensive rebounds to beat the Bucks for the sixth straight time.
"Honestly, we just kind of fed off Derrick because he was so aggressive to start the game," Boozer said. "Jennings went off a little bit in that first half and to be quite frank, D-Rose just took the challenge and kept pushing. We played off of him."
After the Bulls pushed their lead to 14 in the fourth quarter, Milwaukee closed within six behind Leuer, who led a 16-8 run and scored 13 points in the period.
Rose hit a runner from the baseline with 2:44 left, extending the lead to eight, and the Bulls led by at least five the rest of the way.
Jennings entered the game on a hot streak, averaging 26 points over his previous five games. On Friday, he surpassed the 20-point mark for the sixth straight time, the longest streak of his career. He only scored nine points after the first quarter, though.
"They came out more aggressive," Jennings said. "Set a lot of traps. Lot of guys. I wasn't able to just go up like I did in the first half. I was trying to make other things happen."
The reigning MVP was even one-upped by Jennings in the first quarter when the third-year player had 16 points in just over 10 minutes. Jennings hit three 3-pointers and six of eight shots overall in the period.
The Bulls led 51-50 at the break, mostly thanks to 13 offensive rebounds and 17 second-chance points in the first half.
Chicago started the second half on a 16-4 run and stretched its lead to as many as 13 points in the third quarter. Rose rarely looked to pass and scored 14 points in the period, giving him 30 entering the final 12 minutes.
- Milwaukee announced on Friday that Bogut is expected to miss eight to 12 weeks.
- The Bulls played without two starters. Forward Luol Deng missed his third straight game with a sprained left wrist. Guard Richard Hamilton was a late scratch because of a bruised right thigh. Hamilton missed 10 games earlier this season with a sore left groin.
- The Bucks were seeking their first four-game road win streak since taking six straight away from home from Feb. 5 to Feb. 27, 2010. Milwaukee lost its first eight road games this season.
- According to Stats, Inc., the Bulls have won 18 consecutive regular season games when Boozer has scored at least 14 points, the longest active streak in the NBA.
- The Bulls don't play at home again until Feb. 14 because the United Center will be taken over by Disney on Ice. Chicago will play its next nine games on the road.