Pacers defense fuels survival

April, 23, 2011
4/23/11
7:14
PM ET
By ESPN Stats & Info
ESPN.com
Archive
It appeared that just like the first three games of the series the Indiana Pacers would play 46 quality minutes only to see the Chicago Bulls close out another victory. But despite getting outscored 13-to-5 over the final two minutes of the game, the Pacers survived to extend their season at least one more game.

For much of the contest Indiana dominated play, leading by as many as 18 points and not trailing for a single minute.

The Pacers won the battle in transition holding a 10-to-0 advantage over the Bulls. Indiana did a great job getting back as Chicago went 0-for-5 from the field in fast-break situations, including a missed layup by Derrick Rose late in the fourth quarter thanks to good defense from Darren Collison.

Indiana shined defensively through the first three quarters converting 12 Chicago turnovers into 21 points. During that span the Pacers turned the ball over six times which led to only four points for the Bulls.

However in the fourth quarter they forced just two Chicago turnovers without turning either into points. Meanwhile the Pacers turned the ball over eight times in the fourth quarter alone, which led to 15 points that helped Chicago get back in the game.

Despite their continued fourth-quarter struggles, the Pacers can take solace that they held on despite making only one field goal in the final 5:35 of the game. In the final quarter Indiana made 13 of its 15 free throw attempts.

While he obviously would like to be going home with a victory, nonetheless Derrick Rose must be relieved to be heading back to Chicago.

After averaging over 37.5 points per game over the first two games of the series, Rose scored just 19 per game in Indiana, while shooting only 25 percent from the field.

He has shot under 30 percent from the field in consecutive games for only the second time in his career, regular season or postseason. The only other time it happened was back in December of 2008 during his rookie year.

No matter the location of the game Rose has really struggled with his three-point shot, seen as the biggest improvement in his game during the regular season.

Rose made only one of his nine three-point field goal attempts this game, and is just 5-for-29 from three-point range throughout the series. In fact he is shooting just 26.8 percent on field goal attempts outside of five feet (15-for-56)

His reliance on the three has to be what's most alarming as he has taken over seven three-point field goals per game so far this postseason. He averaged fewer than five attempts per game throughout the regular season.

Indiana did a good job clogging the paint against Rose on Saturday not allowing him to get inside the lanes and draw fouls. In the first three games of the series he averaged over 16 free throw attempts per game. In Game 4 he took only four.

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