Chicago wins series 4-1 (Game 3 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

Bulls 88

(62-20, 26-15 away)

Pacers 84

(37-45, 24-17 home)

    Coverage: NBATV

    7:00 PM ET, April 21, 2011

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHI 21 21 23 2388
    IND 17 25 22 2084

    Top Performers

    Chi: L. Deng 21 Pts, 6 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Blk

    Ind: D. Granger 21 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Derrick Rose scores 23 points as Bulls take 3-0 series lead

    Associated Press

    INDIANAPOLIS -- Derrick Rose was beaten up and shaken up by Indiana's trapping defense, which was intent on shutting him down at all costs.

    The Chicago Bulls guard struggled all game long and even lost his cool at times, but he still found a way to be the difference-maker. He scored 23 points, including the go-ahead layup with 17.8 seconds left, to help the Bulls beat the Pacers 88-84 on Thursday night and take a 3-0 lead in their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

    Rose's late basket was his only field goal in the second half. He made just 4 of 18 shots in the game as he was blanketed, and at times pummeled, by Indiana's Paul George and Dahntay Jones.

    "It was a little rough out there, but it's basketball," he said. "They had something to prove."

    Rose, guarded by Jones, drove left for the layup that gave the Bulls an 86-84 lead and sparked "MVP!" chants from the thousands of Bulls fans who made the 3-hour drive.

    Danny Granger had a chance to give the Pacers the lead, but his 3-pointer was off, and Chicago's Ronnie Brewer rebounded. Brewer was fouled, and he made two free throws with 1.1 seconds left to put the game out of reach.

    Rose missed his first eight shots of the second half, but he never hesitated when it was time to go for the lead late.

    "The whole time, I was just thinking I'll go to the hole," he said. "It was tough the whole night the way they were playing, but at that time, I saw space and went for it."

    Rose's teammates expected him to deliver.

    "We have had a lot of close games all year," Bulls guard Kyle Korver said. "He always wants the ball at the end, and usually, he comes through."

    Rose made up for his shooting difficulties by making 13 of 15 free throws. Chicago can close out the series on Saturday.

    "The bottom line is we're up 3-0," Chicago forward Carlos Boozer said. "We're getting better. Our defense was much better than it was the first two games of the series, and we've got to be ready for Game 4."

    Rose averaged 37.5 points in the first two games of the series, and the Pacers made it clear that slowing him was their top priority heading into Game 3. Their poor shooting -- 38 percent -- cost them a chance to take advantage.

    Luol Deng had 21 points and Korver added 12 for the Bulls.

    Granger, who led the Pacers with 21 points, said the Pacers wanted something better than the contested 26-footer that bounced off the rim with 2.2 seconds remaining.

    "We didn't get the look we wanted," he said. "That was the best shot we could get. That wasn't the way we wanted it, but that was the way it happened."

    The Pacers, who lost double-digit leads in both of the first two games, led by five points in the fourth quarter on Thursday and couldn't hold on.

    Indiana had primarily used George, a 6-foot-8 rookie, on Rose in the first two games. This game, they added Jones, known for his defensive prowess, to the mix.

    "I thought we did a great job on Rose," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "I had a lot of confidence that they would do a good job on him."

    Indiana took a 68-65 lead on a layup by Jones with just over 10 minutes to play. His fadeaway jumper over Korver bumped Indiana's lead to 70-65.

    Rose tied the game with two free throws, then gave the Bulls a 72-70 lead with two free throws after he drove and drew Indiana center Roy Hibbert's fifth foul. Korver followed with a 3-pointer to push Chicago's lead to 75-70 with 7 minutes to go.

    Indiana closed within 75-74, but Korver struck again with a 3 to increase Chicago's lead to 78-74 with 6 minutes left. A baseline jumper by Granger tied the score at 84 with 1:42 remaining to set up the frantic ending.

    The Pacers went up 46-45 early in the second half on two free throws by George. A layup by Darren Collison put Indiana up 50-47 as he showed no ill effects after spraining his left ankle in Game 2 on Monday.

    Rose was fouled by Jones on a 3-pointer with 1:28 left in the third quarter, and he made all three free throws to put the Bulls ahead 63-59. The Pacers could have taken the lead at the end of the third quarter, but A.J. Price's short jumper bounced off the rim, and the Bulls led 65-64.

    Again, Indiana couldn't close late.

    "I thought we played really tough," Collison said. "And what happened at the end? Things just didn't go our way."

    Chicago has won the three games by a combined 15 points.

    "We're really frustrated right now," Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough said. "I know I'm frustrated. We now have to work to stay in this series and win our game here at home."

    Game notes

    Former Pacer Reggie Miller said he remembers the early 1990s when his team would host the Bulls at Market Square Arena and the crowd would be about 60 percent Bulls fans. He said that changed when the Pacers proved to be legitimate Eastern Conference contenders. Noting Chicago's history of traveling in large numbers, Vogel asked the fans to support the team, joking that metal detectors would keep Bulls fans out of the building. The game was a sellout, and Indiana had a clear advantage in crowd support. Indiana, which was last in the league in attendance during the regular season, had just six sellouts before Thursday's game. ... Rev. Jesse Jackson attended the game to support the Bulls. He stood along the baseline in pregame warmups, and even chatted with Rose for a few moments.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 88 84
    FGM-FGA 28-72 (.389) 33-87 (.379)
    3PM-3PA 9-20 (.450) 1-10 (.100)
    FTM-FTA 23-27 (.852) 17-18 (.944)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-42 15-42
    Assists 20 11
    Turnovers 16 11
    Steals 7 10
    Blocks 9 6
    Fast Break Points 9 12
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 20 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 6 5

    Top Performers

    Luol Deng Deng
    Points: 21
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Danny Granger Granger
    Points: 21
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0

    Research Notes

    NEXT LEVEL: Although he struggled in the pick and roll for most of the game, Derrick Rose used it to make the go-ahead lay-up with 17.8 seconds left. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise the Bulls chose to ran this set with Rose, as it was his most frequently used type of play during the regular season.
    NEXT LEVEL: Nobody in Conseco Fieldhouse should be surprised that Chicago used Derrick Rose in a pick and roll on the go-ahead basket with 17.8 seconds remaining. Rose led the NBA this season with 813 plays ran as the pick and roll ball handler, easily outdistancing Russell Westbrook who was next with 652 such plays.
    NEXT-LEVEL: Danny Granger led the Pacers with 21 points in Game 3 and did much of his damage in transition. Granger made 5-8 FG on the break for 10 points on Thursday, continuing a trend of improvement he's enjoyed during the postseason. Granger has averaged 9.3 PPG in transition during the playoffs after scoring only 3.9 PPG during the regular season.
    NEXT-LEVEL: The Bulls made a season-low seven field goal attempts inside of five feet on Thursday, one fewer than the eight field goals they made inside five feet against the Bucks on December 28th. The Bulls shot 30.4 percent on such attempts in Game 3 (7-23), also a season-low.
    NEXT-LEVEL: Derrick Rose struggled to score as a pick-and-roll ball handler for much of the night on Thursday, an area in which he had excelled entering Game 3 (10.5 PPG in Games 1 and 2; led NBA during regular season - 8.8 PPG). Rose and the Bulls picked the right time to find their rhythm, however, as Rose dribbled off a Joakim Noah screen to free himself for the go-ahead layup with 17.8 seconds remaining.
    While it wasn't pretty, the Bulls' win over the Pacers followed the same familiar scripts as in the first two games with Chicago's defense tightening up in the 4th quarter. Chicago held Indiana to just 17 points in the 4th quarter on 8-23 shooting. For the series, the Bull are holding the Pacers to 35.4 pct from the floor in the final frame.
    Kyle Korver had 10 of his 12 points in the 4th quarter. During the regular season he scored at least 10 points in the 4th quarter in six games, the 2nd-most on the team.
    From Elias: The Bulls have a 3-0 series lead despite not having the halftime lead in any of the games... Chicago trailed at the half in each of the 1st 2 games and was tied in Game 3...
    The Bulls managed just 16 points in the paint, by far their fewest of the season. During the regular season Chicago's fewest points in the paint were 26 done three different times. It's also the fewest the Bulls have scored in the paint in any playoff game over the last 15 seasons.
    After hitting two 3-pt FG down the stretch, Kyle Korver is now 5-5 from the 3-pt line in the 4th quarter of this series. This shouldn't come as too big a shock as Korver led the NBA in most 3-pt FG in the 4th quarter this season.

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