Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Derrick Rose will not be playing in this weekend's All-Star Game, but the former MVP stole the show in the NBA's final primetime showdown before the midseason break.
Rose totaled 30 points, seven assists and only turned it over twice as the Chicago Bulls handed the red-hot Cleveland Cavaliers a 113-98 loss Thursday.
"We were just happy to (enter the All-Star break) on a good note," Rose said. "We played decent basketball tonight."
Rose's teammates also stepped up, as Tony Snell scored 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting and All-Star Pau Gasol recorded his 14th straight double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Joakim Noah added 10 points, 15 boards and seven assists for the Central Division leaders, who have won four straight for the first time since December.
LeBron James scored a game-high 31 points but committed eight of Cleveland's 16 turnovers. Fellow All-Star Kyrie Irving added 17 points, seven assists and six boards, but the Cavs nevertheless fell for just the second time in the last 16 games.
"We played from behind a lot," James said. "All (the turnovers) were pretty much my fault."
Both teams were playing without All-Star caliber players. Chicago's Jimmy Butler sat out with a strained right shoulder, and Cleveland's Kevin Love was still recovering from a corneal abrasion he suffered on Wednesday.
Gasol erupted for 12 points in the first quarter after being held to 15 and 11 points in the first two meetings with Cleveland. His efforts had the Bulls in front 30-26 heading into the second quarter, and Chicago extended its lead to 15 late in the half.
The Cavs, though, chipped away at the deficit by attacking the basket and holding the Bulls to one field goal over the final 3:50. They were within 55-48 at halftime, but Rose took over in the third quarter.
The three-time All-Star scored 13 points in the frame with several jumpers, a gorgeous reverse layup off a backdoor feed from Gasol, and an aggressive coast-to-coast layup to beat the buzzer, giving the Bulls an 87-77 advantage.
A James three-point play had the Cavs within seven early in the fourth, but a 14-2 run -- highlight by 3-pointers from Nikola Mirotic and Snell -- put the visitors away.
James passed John Havlicek for the second most assists by a forward in NBA history. He trails Scottie Pippen by 17 ... Rose has 31 assists and just 10 turnovers in five February games. He had 17 assists and 28 turnovers in his last five January games ... The Cavs won the first two games of the season series, which concludes Apr. 5 in Cleveland.