Rose's late shot gives Bulls commanding series leadApr 22, 2011 - 3:17 AM Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Derrick Rose drove for the go-ahead layup with 17.8 seconds left, and the Bulls held on for another close victory, 88-84, against the Pacers in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
Top-seeded Chicago holds a 3-0 lead in the series, but none of the wins have come easy for the Bulls. They beat Indiana by scores of 104-99 and 96-90 in the first two games, and scraped out another victory Thursday thanks to Rose's big shot, which put Chicago on the cusp of a sweep.
Game 4 is set for Saturday back at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Rose shot just 4-of-18 overall and missed his first five shots in the fourth quarter, but came up with a key play when the Bulls needed one.
They had gained possession after Indiana's Darren Collison missed a contested mid-range jumper, and called a timeout with 33.4 seconds left. Chicago used some time after the inbound to get the ball to its play-maker, Rose.
He started his drive from the top of the arc, but didn't actually face much resistance on the play. He blew past Pacers guard Dahntay Jones near the free throw line, then got around Danny Granger, who merely swiped at the ball as Rose started to jump. Center Roy Hibbert couldn't make it back to the paint in time to contest the shot, which gave the Bulls an 86-84 edge.
"The whole time I was thinking of just going to the hole," Rose said. "It was tough all night the way that they were playing me. But at that time I saw a little space and I just went to the hole."
Indiana still had plenty of time, but with the seconds ticking down, Granger fired a line-drive three-point try with two defenders in his face. The shot bounced off the left side of the rim, and Ronnie Brewer grabbed the rebound before securing the win with two free throws.
Rose drained 13-of-15 free throws and finished with 23 points, while Luol Deng ended with 21 points, six assists and six rebounds for the Bulls. Kyle Korver added 12 points off the bench, hitting several big shots down the stretch.
Granger scored 21 points to lead the Pacers, who are on the verge of being swept out of their first playoff appearance since 2005-06.
"I can say it for all three games, it came (down) to one or two baskets or one or two possessions," said Indiana forward Tyler Hansbrough. "We were just so close."
Thursday's contest was tight throughout, featuring nine lead changes and a difference no greater than six points.
The Pacers scored 14 points off 12 Chicago turnovers and held a 20-10 advantage in points in the paint in the first half, helping them stay even, 42-42, at the break.
The Bulls held a 65-64 edge after a close third quarter, but the Pacers scored the first six points of the fourth to build a 70-65 edge.
While Thursday's game was not built for big runs and leads, the Bulls did put together a key stretch after Indiana moved in front. They scored 10 in a row, capped by a Korver three that put them up 75-70 with seven minutes left.
Indiana stayed close, but Korver made sure his team stayed in front down the stretch. He hit another three for a 78-74 edge, and canned a jumper with 5:10 remaining for an 80-76 lead.
"Korver killed us in the fourth," said Pacers interim head coach Frank Vogel. "He even killed us on the last play when we couldn't leave him to help, so that allowed Rose to get to the bucket."
The Bulls were still in front by four with just more than two minutes remaining, but their offense stalled, allowing the Pacers to tie the game.
After Indiana's Paul George made two foul shots, Rose missed a long jumper and Hibbert grabbed the rebound. At the other end, Granger drilled a step-back jumper from the right baseline. He hit the shot despite good defense from Deng and Korver, making it an 84-84 contest with 1:42 to go.
Misses from Deng and Granger on the following two possessions set up the final sequence.
Joakim Noah had 11 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks for the Bulls...Chicago shot 39 percent overall, but made 9-of-20 three-pointers...George pulled down a game- and career-high 12 boards for the Pacers, while Jones added 11 points off the bench...The Bulls recorded their first playoff win in Indiana.
- CHICAGO: 88
Apr 21 9:33 PM
- CHICAGO: 65
End of 3rd
Apr 21 8:54 PM
- CHICAGO: 42
Apr 21 8:09 PM
- CHICAGO: 21
End of 1st
Apr 21 7:34 PM
- CHICAGO: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 21 7:12 PM
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