Sports

Rose scores 22 in first game at United Center in 18 months, Bulls beat Pistons 96-81

  • Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, left, talks with guard Derrick Rose during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Detroit Pistons in Chicago on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, left, talks with guard Derrick Rose during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Detroit Pistons in Chicago on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)  (The Associated Press)

  • Detroit Pistons guard Will Bynum (12) shoots as Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose guards during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game in Chicago on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Detroit Pistons guard Will Bynum (12) shoots as Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose guards during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game in Chicago on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)  (The Associated Press)

  • Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose falls down during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Detroit Pistons in Chicago on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose falls down during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Detroit Pistons in Chicago on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)  (The Associated Press)

Derrick Rose scored 22 points in his long-awaited return to the United Center to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 96-81 preseason victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

The way Rose was dominating, it was hard to believe nearly 18 months had passed since he suited up for a game in this arena. The explosiveness was back after he spent last season recovering from knee surgery.

The former MVP got a thunderous ovation during the pregame introductions and proceeded to put on a show, scoring 18 in the first half.

Rose hit 6 of 9 shots and was 9 for 10 on free throws over 22 minutes after missing the previous game against Washington in Rio de Janeiro because of soreness in his surgically repaired left knee.