CHICAGO IL - FEBRUARY 17: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls drives past Chris Quinn #11 of the San Antonio Spurs on his way to a game and career high 42 points at the United Center on February 17 2011 in Chicago Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Spurs 109-99. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

NBA Scores And More: Derrick Rose Slays Spurs, Dirk Nowitzki Shoots Past Suns

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Spurs Vs. Bulls: Derrick Rose Unstoppable In Huge Chicago Win

Derrick Rose scored a career-high 42 points as the Chicago Bulls entered All-Star Weekend with a massive 109-99 home win over the San Antonio Spurs. The Bulls, No. 3 in the East and home to one of the league's most talked about MVP candidates in Rose, hardly need more confidence. They've had a wonderful season to date. But if there was any question about whether the Bulls could challenge the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat in the Eastern playoffs? Those concerns ought to be squelched.

The Spurs, of course, came in and left with the NBA's best record by no small margin. The loss was San Antonio's 10th in 56 games; no other team has fewer than 14 losses or more than 41 wins. It would take a grand collapse for the Spurs to lose home court advantage throughout the postseason, and it's not likely to happen. This is the perspective for how good the Spurs are, and how fantastic this win is for the Bulls.

Of course, it also happened to be the final game of San Antonio's Rodeo Road Trip. The Spurs have spent all of February on the road, ending the trip 6-3. While a nine-game road trip will tire any team, the Spurs' contests were spread over 18 days, and San Antonio had two games off prior to the Bulls' match-up. This isn't similar to the Lakers' Wednesday loss in Cleveland, where L.A. had played five games in seven nights. The Spurs may be on the road, but they are rather rested.

It didn't matter. Rose ripped through the still-excellent Spurs defense regularly, beating Tony Parker off the dribble with relative ease. Rose scored 11 points in the first, 10 in the second, eight in the third and 13 in the fourth. He was, in a word, relentless, and nothing the Spurs tried to slow him managed to work.

If you root for the Celtics or Heat, this Bulls team and Rose specifically must terrify you. What a performance, and what a team.

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Mavericks Vs. Suns: Dirk Nowitzki Lifts Dallas Past Steve Nash, Phoenix

Dirk Nowitzki scored 35 points as the Dallas Mavericks continued their hot play with a 112-106 win over the Phoenix Suns. Nowitzki hit 13 of 18 shots including three three-pointers. His counterpart Channing Frye led the Suns with 24 points on 9-15 shooting. Steve Nash, the two-time MVP who is having the best statistical season of his career yet didn't make the All-Star team and is drawing zero popular support on the topic, had 15 points and 14 assists. (For the record, I'm a part of the zero popular support crowd. He's not better than the guards on the team this year. Says something about his MVPs, no?)

Rodrigue Beaubois, the French firebolt in his second game of the season, scored nine points as Dallas' starting two-guard. Many (including myself) have maintained he's a perfect ballast for Dirk; he was incredible in short minutes last season, and has the right combination of speed and aggression to augment the Mavs' traditional halfcourt Dirk-based attack. A few games after the All-Star break ends, it will be interesting to see how well Beaubois plays with the rust shaken off.

The Mavs will be happy to win on the road against a decent team, though you wonder if the margin and Peja Stojakovic's continued mediocrity might convince Dallas to become movers at the NBA trade deadline. All-Star Weekend ought to reveal which way the Mavs are leaning.

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