Rapid Reaction: Bulls 116, Pacers 89
April, 26, 2011
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com
CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned a 116-89 win over the Indiana Pacers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Tuesday night at the United Center.
How it happened: Playing on a sprained ankle, Derrick Rose was electric at times scoring 25 points and putting the Bulls on his back at various points throughout the night. Luol Deng had a big night, scoring 24 points, and Keith Bogans added 15 on five 3-pointers. For the first time in the series, the Bulls got off to the type of start they wanted. Their defense was on point throughout the night.
What it means: The Bulls played one of the best games of the season in the most important game to date. Rose played with the type of emotion that his teammates thrive on, and it showed. The Bulls came out and set the tone early and did not let the Pacers get into any kind of rhythm. Noah played with the passion he needs to succeed, Bogans gave the Bulls a huge boost and Taj Gibson played a great game, scoring 10 points of the bench. About the only bad spot on this night for the Bulls was the fact that Carlos Boozer once again played poorly. He scored only two points and was in foul trouble all night. The Bulls will be on a confidence high heading into the second round, but in order to get to where they want to go, they must get Boozer on track.
Stats of the night: The Bulls went on a 21-8 run to close out the third quarter. The Bulls were 14-for-31 from behind the 3-point arc -- a team playoff record.
What's next: The Bulls wait. They will face the winner of the Atlanta/Orlando series, which is headed for Game 6 on Thursday night. The Bulls win enjoy the rest, especially Rose. Game 1 of the conference semifinals is scheduled for Monday in Chicago.