As hard as the eight-seeded Indiana Pacers fought and as well as they have played, their immaturity was exposed in their 116-89 blow-out loss to the Chicago Bulls.
Derrick Rose ignited a 30-19 third quarter advantage for the Bulls and was also aggressive on the defensive end— picking up a blocked shot on Roy Hibbert and a steal a few seconds later— despite playing with four fouls. Rose showed why he deserves the MVP award tonight by stepping up in a big way despite the left ankle sprain.
All of Chicago’s perimter shooters were on fire tonight. Rose, Kyle Korver, Luol Deng and C.J. Watson all did their part. Perhaps the most notable performance was from Keith Bogans who shot 5-of-7 from downtown to really put the game out of reach.
Give Indiana credit. They played a tough series, but in the end it was their pourous defense that did them in. Josh McRoberts lost his cool when tangled up with Joakim Noah by shoving him hard and was ejected, while Danny Granger jawed with Luol Deng as the Bulls finally built a huge lead for the first time in the series.
Joakim Noah had an excellent game with 14 points, eight rebounds, four blocks and three assists.
The Chicago Bulls won the series 4-1 and await the winner of the Atlanta Hawks-Orlando Magic series (ATL. leads 3-2).
Derrick Rose scored 25 points with six assists.
This marks the first (of what could end up countless) playoffs series win for Rose and Noah since the two were drafted by the franchise.