Derrick Rose scored a career-high 44 points and the Chicago Bulls defeated the Atlanta Hawks 99-82, while the Dallas Mavericks beat the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers 98-92 to move within one game of sweeping their series.
The Bulls took a 2-1 lead against the Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Mavericks lead the Lakers three games to none in their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series.
Rose made 16 of 27 shots from the field, including four 3-pointers, and tallied seven assists and five rebounds at Philips Arena in Atlanta.
“Just attacking the whole game,” Rose told reporters. “That was my whole thought process.”
Jeff Teague, with 21 points, was high scorer for the Hawks, who host Game 4 tomorrow.
“He’s tough to cover anyway, but when his jump shot is falling, he’s the MVP,” Teague said.
At American Airlines Center in Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki scored 32 points and Jason Terry added 23 for the Mavericks, who can sweep the Lakers with a home court win tomorrow.
Andrew Bynum had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Lamar Odom scored 18 for the Lakers. Kobe Bryant had 17 points for Los Angeles.
In tonight’s games, the Oklahoma City Thunder are at the Memphis Grizzlies with the teams looking to break a 1-1 tie in their series, while the Miami Heat can take a 3-0 series advantage with a win in Boston against the Celtics.