I knew that my team needed me to make plays. I didn’t know what kind of plays, but it ended up being scoring plays.”
In the process, Rose thoroughly outshined fellow rookie Russell Westbrook and showed why he’s considered the frontrunner for NBA Rookie of the Year. Westbrook finished with 15 points on 6-for-16 shooting to go with six assists and four turnovers.
Westbrook seemed headed for the better night, scoring 12 of his points in the first half on 5-for-8 shooting and recording three assists. But like Durant, he struggled mightily down the stretch, shooting just 1-for-8 in the second half for three points and three turnovers. Two of his giveaways came on back-to-back possessions inside the final 6 1/2 minutes.
"They’re going to be two really good point guards in this league for a lot of years to come,” said Bulls center Brad Miller, who torched the Thunder for 14 points, six rebounds and five assists in 28 minutes off the bench.
"It’s a growing process for (Rose), being a young guy who only played one year of college ball. But you can tell just from the early season to the late season that he’s getting better. It’s just a matter of getting your comfort in this league. Everyone can play. You just got to keep your confidence up and learn the tricks of the trade.”