Derrick Rose calls game as he drills a nasty step-back jumper, leading the Timberwolves to a 116-114 win over the Suns on Sunday.
Towns shouldered the load for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first half, pouring in 28 points on 14 shots.
But as the budding young star cooled off in the second, scoring just two points while misfiring on 7 of 8 shots, Rose was more than ready to pick up the slack.
Continuing his improbable comeback season, the revitalized former MVP erupted for 29 of his 31 points over the final 24 minutes, capped by his clutch jumper with 0.6 seconds remaining to give the Timberwolves a 116-114 victory.
With the nation’s attention fixed firmly on the NFL’s conference championship games, the shot didn’t get nearly as much attention as some of his previous heroics, including his 50-spot against the Utah Jazz on Oct. 31.
But it was more indication, after a recent ankle sprain cost him eight games, that Rose isn’t ready to let his remarkable ride end just yet.
Sunday marked the 19th time in 36 games he’s scored 20 points or more this season, a consistent source of production for a team in need of any kind of steadiness it can get during what has been an exceptionally turbulent season.
And while his status as a high-flying superstar has long since expired, the instinct to take charge remains fully intact. Rather than run a pick-and-roll with Towns on the final play, as drawn up by interim head coach Ryan Saunders, Rose saw a matchup with Suns rookie Mikal Bridges and chose to attack.
“It was a rook sticking me, right?” he said, as reported by The Athletic. “A rookie. C’mon, I gotta go at him in that situation.”
In the old days, Rose almost certainly would have looked to attack the rim. But now, with injuries having reduced his athletic ability to nil, he instead went to the step-back jumper.
Another moment to remember in what has already been an unforgettable season.
“Like I always say, I believe in myself, and I work on this all the time,” Rose said. “I didn’t want to force anything.”