MINNEAPOLIS – During the 2017-18 regular season, Derrick Rose didn’t score 50 points in all of January.
He was hurting, always in and out of the lineup, never in rhythm. Those problems, all his years of problems, seemed so long ago Wednesday night, when Rose was better than ever — finishing with a career-high 50 points that lifted the Minnesota Timberwolves over the Utah Jazz 125-122.
“I played my heart out,” Rose said. “My teammates told me before the game, just play my game. And tonight was a hell of a night.”
That it was, by every possible measure.
Rose became the fourth player already this season — it’s barely two weeks old — to score at least 50 in a game, joining Blake Griffin, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
And if the 50 wasn’t enough, Rose sealed the win by blocking Dante Exum’s 3-pointer with about two seconds remaining.
Moments later, Rose walked off the floor in tears. The game had made the 2011 NBA MVP cry before. Only this time, the emotion was all joy.
“I know the person that he is, the character that he has,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. “And it shines through.”
Rose has dealt with four knee surgeries, needed to take time away last season to figure things out while dealing with ankle issues, was forced to sit out nearly two full seasons when he should have been in his prime.
Rose shot 19 of 31 from the field and hit four 3-pointers. He played 41 minutes, his most in nearly two years.
His basket down low with 30 seconds remaining put Minnesota up for good, and he made two free throws with 13.8 seconds left to make it a three-point lead.
Warriors 131, Pelicans 121
In Oakland, Stephen Curry had 37 points for his sixth 30-point game of the season as Golden State beat New Orleans for its sixth straight win.
Curry had seven 3-pointers and nine assists, Kevin Durant added 24 points and eight assists, and Draymond Green contributed 16 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists for his first double-double of the season.
Anthony Davis returned from a two-game absence with a sprained right elbow and had 17 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for the Pelicans.
Klay Thompson scored 18 points with one 3-pointer for Golden State two days after setting an NBA record with 14 3s and scoring 52 in a blowout road win against the Bulls.
In Other Games
Lakers 114, Mavericks 113
Spurs 120, Suns 90
Pacers 107, Knicks 101
Nets 120, Pistons 119 (OT)
Nuggets 108, Bulls 107 (OT)