LeBron James had 29 points and 10 rebounds, and Dwyane Wade added 34 points to lead the Miami Heat, but none of it was enough to beat Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls Thursday night. And this is when the rest of the NBA should start to worry.
Exactly a week after Derrick Rose and the Bulls dominated the San Antonio Spurs, Chicago had a tougher time with Miami, but still prevailed, looking as dangerous as any team in the league.
And if Thursday was a game of two MVP candidates, make no mistake: Rose won.
It was a back-and-forth game with great defense on both sides, but Derrick Rose made the difference down the stretch, and in the biggest moment of the game, he drew defense from Wade and James, and hit Luol Deng for a wide-open three pointer.
For the Bulls, it's another sign that they're moving in the right direction. Tom Thibodeau has them playing the best defense in the league, and with Derrick Rose in charge on the other, there's just enough offense to make them one the league's four or five best teams.
As for the Heat? Well, they're now 1-7 against the league's top five teams. You can draw your own conclusions as to what that means, but let's just say this: LeBron James looked like the best player in the world for most of the game Thursday night, but in the end, it was Derrick Rose who went to another level in crunch time. And while everybody in the whole world can see that the Miami Heat have more superstar talent than anybody in the league, it might just be the Bulls that have the makings of a young dynasty on their hands in Chicago.
If nothing else, rest assured: it will an all-out WAR if these teams meet in the playoffs.
Keep your fingers crossed.