Playoff Box Score: Bulls Move On With 116-89 Win
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Apr 27, 2011 3:00PM
For four games, Frank Vogel's Indiana Pacers played the Bulls incredibly tight. The Bulls pulled out three close victories before the Pacers team exploited Derrick Rose's ankle sprain to win game four and prevent the sweep. Heading into last night's game Vogel promised, "If we win tonight, we win series." The Bulls made sure that wouldn't happen, blowing out the Pacers 116-89 to close out the series and move on to the second round.
From the opening tip-off, the Bulls were a team on a mission. They jumped out to a 12-2 lead less than three minutes into the game and never looked back. They led by 11 after one quarter and eight at the half. Rose showed no affects of his sprained ankle, scoring 25 points on 8-for-17 shooting. He also drained a couple key three pointers as Indiana cut the lead to just four points early in the third quarter. Those shots helped spark a 23-8 run which gave the Bulls a 19-point lead heading into the final quarter. Luol Deng had another monster night, scoring 24 points while grabbing six rebounds and dishing seven assists. Keith Bogans got hot from downtown, stroking five threes and contributing 15 points. Joakim Noah, whose grandfather traveled from Cameroon for the game, scored 14 points and grabbed eight boards while providing much of the early intensity that fueled the Bulls.
And Carlos Boozer? Once again, he disappeared due to early foul trouble and managed just two points and five rebounds. After the game, Boozer disclosed he suffered a turf toe injury. Boozer was one of many Bulls in foul trouble all night, as Noah and Rose each finished with five and Taj Gibson fouled out after scoring 10 points and grabbing 7 rebounds playing in Boozer's place. Rose had four fouls early in the third quarter when Tom Thibodeau inserted his star back into the game to spark the run that ended the Pacers season. Between the big lead and foul troubles, most of the roster saw significant playing time and six players scored in double figures for the Bulls.
With the victory, the Bulls emphatically showed who was the better team and who deserved to move on. Now the Bulls must await the winner of the Orlando-Atlanta series, in which the Hawks currently holds a 3-2 advantage.