NBA: Derrick Rose paces Bulls in win over Cavs
Former NBA Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose didn`t garner an All-Star berth, but he starred on Thursday in the league`s last game before the mid-season showcase.
Rose scored 30 points and handed out seven assists to lead the Bulls to a 113-98 victory over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Tony Snell contributed 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting for the Bulls and Pau Gasol -- who did get an All-Star nod -- notched his 14th straight double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Joakim Noah added 10 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists for Chicago, who head into the All-Star break leading the Cavs by 1 1/2 games atop the Central Division.
The contest was the only game on Thursday`s slate, and regular-season action won`t resume until next Thursday.
All-Star weekend festivities kick off in New York on Friday with the Rising Stars Challenge at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Saturday`s events include the always entertaining slam dunk contest, while the 64th All-Star Game will be played on Sunday at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan.
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 rebounds but it wasn`t enough to fend off the Cavs` second loss in 16 games.
Chicago were without Jimmy Butler, sidelined with a strained right shoulder, while Cleveland`s Kevin Love sat out with a corneal abrasion he suffered on Wednesday when he was accidentally poked in the eye by an opponent.