Bulls run past Pacers to reach second roundApr 27, 2011 - 6:38 AM Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Derrick Rose scored 25 points and dished out six assists, while Luol Deng filled the stat sheet with 24 points, seven assists and six rebounds, as Chicago cruised into the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 116-89 victory over Indiana in Game 5 of the first round series at the United Center.
Rose may have played with a balky left ankle injured in a Game 4 loss on Saturday, but there was nothing wrong with his back. The point guard made three treys, after netting just one in the first four games of the series, and finished 8-of-17 from the floor in carrying his team to a 4-1 series victory.
Joakim Noah added 14 points and eight rebounds, Keith Bogans provided a surprising offensive lift with five treys for 15 points and Kyle Korver donated 13 points off the bench. Chicago racked up its series high in points despite a two-point effort from star forward Carlos Boozer.
The Bulls won just their second playoff series since the Jordan era and now will face the Atlanta-Orlando winner in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Magic pounded the Hawks, 101-76, on Tuesday, forcing a Game 6 back in Atlanta.
Danny Granger scored 20 points, Tyler Hansbrough posted 14 points and 11 rebounds and Roy Hibbert added 11 points and five boards for the Pacers, who advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 2006 and competed fiercely with the East's top seed.
"We gave them our best effort," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "I'm proud of our guys. We put Pacers basketball back on the map, and it's here to stay."
Chicago shot over 60 percent in the opening quarter, not looking nearly as bothered by Indiana's physical defense as it did in the first four games. Rose scored 11, showcasing his trademark burst even with the ailing ankle, and Noah totaled 10 in opening a 36-25 lead. The Bulls, slow starters all series long, poured in 14 of the period's first 16 points, capped by a pair of baskets from Rose and Noah.
The Pacers got within seven at one point, but soon found themselves in a 14- point hole at 36-22 on a Rose pull-up jumper in transition. Indiana sliced the deficit to as little as seven in the second, but couldn't penetrate the Bulls' staunch defensive front line and trailed 54-46 at the half. Deng led the way with 15 points. Granger paced the Pacers with 14, while Hansbrough finished with nine points and five boards.
Rose scored 12 more in the third, including back-to-back killer threes after going 1-for-13 in the series from long range up to that point. His second three opened a 69-57 advantage, and his third in the stanza made the score 75-60. In all, Chicago made six treys in the quarter, including three by Bogans, taking an 84-65 lead in the final period.
The game continued to unravel for the Pacers, who lost their cool as the deficit got larger. Korver's jumper and subsequent technical free throw opened a 106-79 lead with just under five minutes left. The Bulls cruised from there into the semifinal round.
"It's always good to advance," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We're focused on going step-by-step. Every win is hard to get."
The only other time these rivals met in the playoffs was in the Eastern Conference finals back in 1997-98, when the Bulls edged the Pacers in seven games and went on to win their final championship in the Michael Jordan era.
- INDIANA: 89
Apr 26 10:43 PM
- INDIANA: 65
End of 3rd
Apr 26 10:11 PM
- INDIANA: 46
Apr 26 9:20 PM
- INDIANA: 25
End of 1st
Apr 26 8:44 PM
- INDIANA: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 26 8:10 PM
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