Chicago wins series 4-1 (Game 1 of 5)

Chicago wins series 4-1

Game 1: Saturday, April 16th
Game 2: Monday, April 18th
Game 3: Thursday, April 21st
Game 4: Saturday, April 23rd
Game 5: Tuesday, April 26th

Pacers 99

(37-45, 13-28 away)

Bulls 104

(62-20, 36-5 home)

    Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

    1:00 PM ET, April 16, 2011

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    IND 27 28 24 2099
    CHI 23 28 20 33104

    Top Performers

    Ind: D. Granger 24 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Chi: D. Rose 39 Pts, 6 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Derrick Rose helps Bulls storm back in 4th to best Pacers

    Associated Press

    CHICAGO -- Never mind what everyone else was thinking, Derrick Rose insisted he didn't expect the Chicago Bulls to roll over the Indiana Pacers.

    They certainly didn't in Game 1.

    Rose scored 39 points and found Kyle Korver for a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 48 seconds left, helping top-seeded Chicago stage a late rally to beat the Pacers 104-99 in their playoff opener on Saturday.

    "We knew it was going to be a hard game," Rose said. "From the beginning I guess we weren't prepared for it. Next time I think we'll be ready."

    For the Pacers, the loss was tough to accept. They controlled most of the game, but couldn't put it away.

    They'd make little runs, Chicago would come back, and the Pacers would pull ahead again. With Rose staring at them, Danny Granger never felt safe.

    "With Derrick Rose on the other team? No," Granger said. "With Derrick Rose on the other team, no. It's like a crazy stalker ex-girlfriend. Every time you tell her you don't want to talk to her, she'll show up at your door again."

    Trailing 98-88 in the final period, the Bulls showed the resolve that carried them to a league-best 62-20 record, closing with a 16-1 run over the final 3:38.

    Rose scored seven during the impressive finish, including a three-point play and a floater that tied it at 99 with 1:27 left. He then hit Korver with a cross-court pass for a 3 that gave the Bulls their first lead at 102-99.

    Granger then missed a 3 and Joakim Noah got the rebound. Rose eventually hit two free throws with 14.8 seconds remaining.

    Game 2 in this best-of-7 series is Monday night at the United Center.

    Rose again showed why he is an MVP favorite even though he was off target. He missed each of his nine 3-point attempts but made 19-of-21 at the foul line and finished with six rebounds and six assists.

    Luol Deng added 18 points and Korver finished with 13, no shot bigger than that 3.

    Rose said an open 3 is "like a layup" for Korver, who credited the dynamic point guard for finding him.

    "Derrick made a great read," Korver said. "If my man helps, he's going to kick it out to me. If he doesn't help, he's going to drive into the lane. That's why it's set up that way."

    Granger led Indiana with 24 points, and Tyler Hansbrough shook off an elbow from Kurt Thomas to finish with 22. Darren Collison scored 17, but had just two in the second half, and the Pacers came up just short in their first playoff game in five years.

    Even so, they gave the Bulls all they could handle.

    With the Pacers leading by 10, Deng hit two free throws with 3:28 remaining to start the comeback. Noah followed with a tip-in and dunk to make it a four-point game, and the Bulls were on their way.

    Exactly how far they'll go remains to be seen, but they're certainly aiming high after securing home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. They won nine straight and 21 of 23 down the stretch, and anything less than a big run would be a big disappointment.

    Meanwhile, the Pacers will try to shake this one off and figure out how a game that looked so promising ended in defeat.

    "We put forth a good effort, but who cares?" Granger said. "It's 0-1."

    The Pacers were concerned late in the third quarter when Hansbrough was elbowed by Thomas as he was trying to rebound a miss by Rose. Hansbrough stayed down for several minutes and, still woozy, had to take a seat in the tunnel.

    He eventually walked to the locker room on his own power. He returned with 5:33 remaining, and it looked as if he might lead the Pacers to a win.

    Instead, the Bulls came surging back, erasing that deficit after Hansbrough hit back-to-back jumpers and converted a three-point play to make it 98-88. Now, they can breathe a little easier after a hard, physical game.

    "Right now I'm feeling good and can't wait to go eat," Rose said.

    For Indiana?

    "This one hurts real bad," Roy Hibbert said.

    Game notes

    Chicago held a 49-34 rebounding advantage. ... The Bulls went 53-12 after a 9-8 start. ... Former Bulls assistant Johnny Bach presented the game ball before the opening tip.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 99 104
    FGM-FGA 39-84 (.464) 36-82 (.439)
    3PM-3PA 10-18 (.556) 6-20 (.300)
    FTM-FTA 11-17 (.647) 26-32 (.813)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-34 21-49
    Assists 21 18
    Turnovers 12 15
    Steals 8 6
    Blocks 6 9
    Fast Break Points 16 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (1/0) 21 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 12 5

    Top Performers

    Danny Granger Granger
    Points: 24
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Derrick Rose Rose
    Points: 39
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3

    Research Notes

    The Grizzlies were able to earn the first playoff win in franchise history by avoiding the late-game meltdown that killed the Pacers' chances at upsetting the Bulls last night.
    Derrick Rose's impressive day at the free throw line (19-for-21) should not come as a surprise. Rose has been stellar at the line since missing a critical game-tying free throw against the Clippers on December 18th. Including the Clippers game, he started the season 93-for-122 at the line (76.2 percent). Since that game, he finished the regular season shooting 383-for-433 at the line (88.5 percent).
    The Bulls outscored the Pacers by 13 points in the 4th quarter, continuing an ongoing trend from the regular season when they had easily the best 4th quarter scoring margin in the NBA. Fittingly the Pacers were -126 in the 4th quarter this season which ranked 28th in the NBA. Only the Raptors and Timberwolves were worse.
    Rallying in the fourth quarter is nothing new for Chicago. The Bulls had 11 wins this season in games in which they were trailing at the end of the third quarter. That was tied with the Thunder and Jazz for the second-most this season. Only the Mavericks (12) had more.
    The Bulls began their closing run with 2 Luol Deng free throws with 3:28 remaining... After that point the Pacers didn't make a field goal while the Bulls went 5 of 8 from the field and 5 of 6 at the line...
    Derrick Rose made 19 free throws against the Pacers, the most in a playoff game since Allen Iverson made 19 in 2002.
    From Elias: The Bulls have won 19 consecutive games when opening a postseason series at home, the 2nd longest in postseason history. Only the Lakers, who won 20 from 1982-88 in their showtime days had a longer streak. The Bulls streak goes back to MJ's days in 1992.

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