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CHICAGO — Derrick Rose scored 22 points in his long-awaited return to the United Center court 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, and when he wasn’t finishing drives, the former MVP was hitting his free throws.
Rose hit 6 of 9 field goals and was 9 for 10 on free throws during 22 minutes after missing the previous game against Washington in Rio de Janeiro because of soreness in his surgically repaired left knee.
Carlos Boozer added 10 points and 11 rebounds. Joakim Noah had two points and eight rebounds after missing the first three preseason games because of a strained right groin.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led Detroit with 18 points.