Rose's fourth quarter outburst tied a career high for points in a quarter.
The 22-year-old guard picked up his fourth foul with 5:31 left in the third quarter and did not re-enter the game until the beginning of the fourth quarter. When he did, he got into the type of hot shooting zone most players can only dream about. He went 6-for-8 from the field, including hitting three 3-pointers as the Bulls went on an 18-0 to start the final quarter.
It was the type of superstar performance that Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was looking for considering his team started the fourth trailing, 71-63.
"Derrick was Derrick," Thibodeau said. "He took control of the game. He realized what needed to be done. He started attacking; he's going north and south. Attack, attack, attack. [When he does that] he's impossible to guard."
As usual, Rose was calm and collected after the game.
"Whatever it takes for my team to win, I'm going to try and go out there and do it," he said.
Rose admitted that he took on a different mind-set when the fourth quarter began.
"I had to do something," Rose said. "[In] talking to [his agent] B.J. [Armstrong], he just says stop the game. That's just getting to the line or whatever. Concentrate, focus in. It's either stopping it or scoring the ball and tonight it was me scoring it."
After holding him in check for most of the game, the Rockets had a hard time believing Rose could dominate the way he did.
"He had an unbelievable stretch," Rockets guard Kevin Martin said. "You want him taking 3s and you've just got to live and die by it and we died by it in the beginning of the fourth. You get up on him and he goes right by you. We were frustrated about that but we can't let it affect us at the other end."
Rose's hot shooting completely changed the game, but it wasn't the type of performance that surprised his teammates. They've known for a long time what he is capable of doing.
"Obviously, Derrick is going to do what he does," Bulls center Joakim Noah said. "He's been incredible for us all season, putting this team on his back."
Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.