Friday, January 14, 2011
Rose leads Bulls past Pacers
The Chicago point guard needed to shake off his poor shooting and his team's poor defensive effort against the Bobcats, and he responded with 29 points and 10 rebounds in a 99-86 win over the Pacers on Friday night.
Chicago led Charlotte 80-75 with eight minutes to go on Wednesday night before falling apart defensively in the closing minutes. Rose was focused on creating a different outcome against Indiana.
"I couldn't wait to play," Rose said. "We let that one slip because of our defense. Tonight, we made sure that we played with a lot of intensity at the beginning of the game and made sure that we played defense."
The Bulls held the Pacers to 33 percent shooting.
"We were just ready tonight," Bulls forward Carlos Boozer said. "We did a good job of focusing on what they do offensively. I thought we did a good job defensively and made them take tough shots, contested shots."
Rose shot 5 for 17 from the field against the Bobcats, but 11-for-21 against the Pacers. He scored 20 points in the second half against Indiana.
"In the second half, when he's going like he's going, it doesn't matter what you do on a pick-and-roll," Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said. "That's why people think that he's an MVP candidate."
Luol Deng had 17 points and five assists, Boozer scored 14 points and Kurt Thomas had a season-high 18 rebounds for the Bulls.
Danny Granger scored 22 points for the Pacers, but he shot 4 for 17 in the first three quarters when the game was in doubt while being guarded primarily by Deng.
"He's such a great shooter," Deng said. "My mindset tonight was, I just didn't want to lose him. Every time he took a shot, I was doing the best I could to challenge. I didn't want to let him get any space."
Mike Dunleavy scored 13 points and Jeff Foster had a season-high 15 rebounds for Indiana, which failed to notch its first three-game winning streak of the season.
The Bulls led 53-41 at halftime.
"We came out there and had some needless turnovers, some silly turnovers that we shouldn't have had, and we didn't play our defense," Indiana forward Tyler Hansbrough said. "Our defense is something we've been relying on the whole year, and we just didn't show up tonight."
The Bulls extended their lead to 60-46 on a 3-pointer by Rose. Indiana trimmed its deficit to nine points and had a fast break going, but Brandon Rush missed everything on a hurried 3-pointer, and Taj Gibson converted a 3-point play on the other end to make it 66-54. On Chicago's next possession, Rose made a 3-pointer and was fouled, prompting MVP chants from the thousands of Bulls fans who made the short drive. He completed the four-point play to push Chicago's lead to 70-54.
"You've got to be able to stop him," Hansbrough said. "You're not going to be able to totally contain him, but you can't let him get hot and keep going."
Indiana surged again, and a jumper by Granger made it 70-61. But Chicago responded with a 7-0 run to re-establish control for good. Rose scored 12 points in the third quarter to help the Bulls lead 79-63 at the end of the period.
The Bulls led by 14 in the final minute when the half-filled arena, with mostly Chicago fans remaining, gave the Bulls a standing ovation.
Chicago shot 46 percent and committed just seven turnovers.
"We had a good balance to our offense," Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said. "I thought we had a good mix of post-ups, pick-and-rolls, catch-and-shoot, and transition. When we do that, we're going to be successful."
Indiana heads into a four-game road trip on a negative note.
"We dug a hole the first half," O'Brien said. "We weren't sharp at all. Our defense wasn't sharp, we missed too many layups and point blank shots, and when we tried to mount a comeback, Derrick Rose took over and made sure there was not going to be a comeback tonight."
NOTES: Chicago G Keith Bogans committed two fouls in the first 1:44 of the game. ... Indiana F Josh McRoberts played four minutes after O'Brien sat him for four games while using other players. McRoberts began the season as the starter, but Hansbrough started his fifth straight game at power forward ... Deng was issued a technical foul with 8:08 left in the second quarter.