The Hornets came close to setting a franchise record for fewest points in a game, failing to do so only because Marco Belinelli hit a 3-pointer with a half second remaining.
Chicago won its fourth in a row and New Orleans lost its seventh straight.
Rose, the league's defending regular-season MVP, suffered back spasms during a game against New Jersey on Monday. He suited up Wednesday, but with Chicago running away to a win he played only 22 minutes and sat out the fourth quarter with a total of six points and six assists.
The Bulls improved to 5-2 on a nine-game road trip that still have stops to go in Charlotte and Boston.
New Orleans was led by Chris Kaman with 17 points and nine rebounds. The Hornets have just four wins, four fewer than any other team in the Western Conference.