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Baseline to Baseline recaps: Derrick Rose kicks his MVP campaign into high gear

Feb 18, 2011, 9:35 AM EDT

Derrick Rose, Tony Parker

What you missed while wondering just how screwed up a world it is that the Kardashians made $65 million last year…

Bulls 109, Spurs 99: For two of the better defensive teams in the league there was a whole lot of offense going on in this one. Both teams create serious matchup problems for the other side, which made this an interesting game to watch.

The biggest mismatch was that the no Spur could stick with Derrick Rose, who looked like an MVP dropping 42 on the Spurs. (I’ve said before I’m not convinced Rose should be a leader in the MVP discussions, but he sure looked like he should Thursday.) He was 18-for-28 shooting, but he was dishing as well and had 8 dimes. He just controlled this game. The Spurs had no answer.

The Bulls shot 53.8 percent (57.5 eFG%, when you account for the threes) and grabbed the offensive rebound on 28 percent of their missed shots. That may have been where the Bulls surprised the most, the 20 second chance points against a good rebounding team. Again here Rose was a force, his two rebounds and putbacks were impressive.

The temptation here is to make this some kind of statement for the Bulls. It is not. This certainly is a quality win, but this is also the ninth straight road game for the Spurs. They are tired. They’ve handled the road well but this is not them at their best.

But even at their best, not sure what they would do to stop Rose.

Mavericks 112, Suns 106: You do realize Dallas has won 13-of-14 heading into the All-Star break, and the only loss was on an Arron Afflalo buzzer beater in Denver. This team is good. Very good.

Honestly I compare them to the Heat in this sense — they are great in the regular season, but there are still questions about the playoffs. They have to prove themselves there. I’m not convinced their depth helps them as much then.

Dirk Nowitzki was amazing — he was 11-of-14 shooting from beyond 16 feet in this game, on his way to 35 points. The Mavs pulled away on a fourth quarter run that started right when he entered. His former teammate Steve Nash was dealing — 15 points and 14 assists, which is why the Suns had six guys in double figures.

In crunch time though, the Mavs best were just better than the Suns best. It really was that simple.

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