Rose receives MVP hardware, Bulls even series with HawksMay 5, 2011 - 3:42 AM Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Derrick Rose received his MVP hardware prior to Wednesday's playoff game against Atlanta and then scored 25 points to lead Chicago to an 86-73 victory over the Hawks in Game 2 of this Eastern Conference semifinal series.
NBA commissioner David Stern handed Rose the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the season's most valuable player. Even though the 22-year-old struggled with a 10-of-27 performance from the field, Rose added some crucial stats with 10 assists and six rebounds to square the best-of-seven set.
"It's been a long year. This right here is for the city of Chicago, more than anything," Rose said prior to the contest.
Rose, the youngest MVP in league history, twisted his left ankle in the final seconds of Game 1. Two nights later he showed little sign of the injury.
"My ankle is fine, it wasn't a factor in the game," Rose said. "I just tried to push the ball, play at my pace. My ankle was good."
He did though account for eight of his team's 14 turnovers.
"Eight is probably very high," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "He's a risk taker, but that's the way he has to play. We want him to be aggressive. Most nights his turnovers are low and we know going on the road we have to take better care of the ball."
Joakim Noah tallied 19 points and 14 rebounds for the top-seeded Bulls, who also received 14 points and 12 boards from Luol Deng.
Jeff Teague, filling in for an injured Kirk Hinrich at point guard, had 21 points for the fifth-seeded Hawks. Atlanta surprised the Bulls, 103-95, in the opener on Monday, but Chicago's defense keyed in on Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford in Game 2. Johnson, who had 34 points in the opener, scored 16 in Game 2. Crawford, an ex-Bull, tallied 22 points off the bench Monday, but was limited to 11 on 2-of-10 shooting on Wednesday.
"They came out and applied pressure," Teague said. "They made every catch we got tough. They came on Joe and double-teamed him a lot, kind of frustrated us because he had it going in the first game. We hopefully will make some adjustments for the next game."
The Hawks shot 51.3 percent from the field in the opener, but just 33.8 percent in this contest.
The series shifts to Atlanta for Game 3 on Friday.
Teague's driving layup had Atlanta within 67-60 with under 10 minutes left, but the Bulls advanced to another double-digit lead a short time later. Noah's put-back jam off a miss from Deng pushed the gap to 75-61 inside seven minutes.
The Hawks made one last run, getting within 75-69 following a Josh Smith three-point play with 4:57 left. After Rose and Teague traded buckets, the Bulls sealed the win by scoring six straight, culminated by Rose's jumper with 1:41 remaining. Teague's jumper with 4:17 left represented Atlanta's last field goal. The Hawks were 4-of-15 shooting in the last quarter.
Rose was the catalyst in the opening quarter, scoring 12 points. Meanwhile, the Hawks managed just 8-of-26 shooting in the first 12 minutes and fell behind by six at period's end. Chicago finished the quarter on a 10-2 burst, with Rose's lone three-point make of the night capping the run.
Carlos Boozer's jumper with nearly four minutes left in the half widened the difference to 40-30. The Hawks trailed 48-37 at the break after shooting just 14-of-43 from the field over the first 24 minutes.
"We did a very bad job first half with our shot selection and it carried over pretty much the rest of the game," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "We had opportunity after opportunity, but we were our biggest enemy tonight on the offensive end. We just did not do a good job executing. We took bad shots."
Chicago was in front by as many as 14 in the third, but Atlanta rallied with an 8-2 push to close the period. Rose lost the ball dribbling up court in the final seconds, leading to a pair of Teague free throws, pulling the visitors within 65-58 going to the fourth.
The Hawks have lost 16 of their last 17 Eastern Conference semifinal games...Including the regular season, the Bulls moved to 40-6 in 2010-11 at the United Center. They haven't lost consecutive home games this season...The Bulls went 5-of-22 from beyond the arc, including 1-of-8 from Rose...Atlanta was 3-of-13 from three-point range...Al Horford had 14 rebounds for the Hawks, who also received 13 points from Smith...Chicago held a 58-39 rebounding advantage...Boozer ended with eight points and 11 boards.
- ATLANTA: 73
May 4 10:29 PM
- ATLANTA: 58
End of 3rd
May 4 9:55 PM
- ATLANTA: 37
May 4 9:12 PM
- ATLANTA: 19
End of 1st
May 4 8:38 PM
- ATLANTA: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
May 4 8:13 PM
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