Derrick Rose

Even if Derrick Rose believed bad things happen in threes, it wouldn’t matter.

Twice Dwight Howard has knocked Rose out of games with hard fouls in the lane.

But Rose promised before Friday night’s game against the Magic that he would not change his strategy.

“No, I’m still going to attack, go to the hole,” he said. “I’m a drive-first guy. But when you play him, you have to know he will contest everything.”

Rose made the adjustments in the Bulls’ impressive 97-83 victory at the Amway Center. Rather than going all the way to the rack, he pulled up several times to hit floaters over Howard’s outstretched arms.

“Derrick has quite an array of shots,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “And he’s great at finishing.”

Rose played with a bruised left elbow, the result of hitting the deck Wednesday night on a foul by the Pistons’ Damien Wilkins. He wore a protective sleeve on his left elbow, but it was tough to tell if the injury affected him.

– Reported by Teddy Greenstein of theĀ Chicago Tribune