CHICAGO, March 8- Derrick Rose scored a game-high 24 points and Carlos Boozer added 19 to power the Chicago Bulls past New Orleans 85-77 on Monday, the Hornets losing while without concussion-sidelined star Chris Paul.
Britain’s Luol Deng added 10 points while Joakim Noah contributed six points and 13 rebounds and Rose passed out nine assists as the Bulls improved to 44-18, second in the Eastern Conference by 1 1/2 games over Miami.
The Hornets fell to 37-29, falling to seventh in the Western Conference.
Paul, a four-time NBA All-Star, collided with Cleveland guard Ramon Sessions in the third quarter of a Sunday victory over Cleveland and was replaced in the Hornets lineup by Jarrett Jack, who led New Orleans on Monday with 23 points.
Paul’s status was uncertain for the Hornets’ next game on Wednesday against Dallas.
Italy’s Marco Bellinelli added 17 points and nine rebounds for New Orleans while David West contributed 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Hornets.