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Playoff Box Score: Bulls Stage Furious Comeback, Beat Pacers

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 16, 2011 8:30PM

This is why the NBA plays 48 minutes, folks. The Bulls were as good as dead in the final three-and-a-half minutes of their opening playoff series against the Indiana Pacers. Trailing by 98-88 with 3:33 left in the game, the Bulls went on a 16-1 run the rest of the way to steal a 104-99 win they had no business winning. Yes, we know Benjy predicted some of these games would be grind it out contests and today's contest was surely that. But the Pacers showed that they can create matchup problems against the Bulls and are capable of taking a game or maybe two.

The Pacers disrupted the Bulls all game, contesting drives to the hoop when the Bulls had the ball and fouling Derrick Rose hard. Defensively, Indiana center Roy Hibbert's wide body created screens all game, Tyler Hansbrough outplayed Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng could not cool down Danny Granger. Granger and Hansbrough combined for 46 points. But just when it seemed they had Chicago down for the count, Derrick Rose sparked the turnaround. Rose, Deng, Joakim Noah and Kyle Korver accounted for all the points in the deciding run. Rose finished with a game-high 39 points (19-21 from the charity stripe). Deng added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and stepped up his game late.

Game 2 is Monday the United Center.