Rose helps Bulls eliminate Pacers

April 28, 2011 - 0:0

Derrick Rose showed no effects of his injured left ankle and the Chicago Bulls pushed their way past the Indiana Pacers with a 116-89 play-off first round series-ending rout.

Rose, who sprained his ankle earlier in the week, sprung back to action with 25 points and the top-seeded Bulls ended put away the Pacers in a 4-1 best-of-seven series victory.
Meanwhile, the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers took a 3-2 series lead after they stung the New Orleans Hornets with a 106-90 victory, while Orlando kept their series alive with a 101-76 blowout of the Atlanta Hawks.
The Bulls will meet the winner of the Hawks and Magic matchup after winning just their second playoff series since 1998.
""I'm speechless right now,"" Rose said. ""I really can't believe it. It's a great accomplishment. I'm happy for my team mates and my coaching staff.""
Chicago had battled through four close games with Indiana but ran away in Game Five.
The Bulls grabbed a 30-19 third-quarter advantage that gave them an 84-65 lead heading into the fourth.
Luol Deng finished with 24 points to support Rose and Chicago held the visitors to 39 percent shooting.
Danny Granger led the way with 20 for Indiana.
Despite the loss the Pacers showed some positive signs, reaching their first post-season since 2006 under coach Frank Vogel, who took over mid-season for the fired Jim O'Brien.
Kobe Bryant, also battling an ankle sprain, left little doubt about his health when he slammed down a vicious dunk over Emeka Okafor in the second quarter and finished with 19 points to spark the Lakers.
Bryant was hurt in Sunday's loss to the Hornets but responded well as the Lakers moved one win from advancing to the second round. Game Six is on Thursday in New Orleans.
Trevor Ariza scored 22 points and Chris Paul recorded 20 and 12 assists for the Hornets who were outscored 52-39 in the second half.
Orlando's win was spurred by Jason Richardson's 17 points, in his return from a one-game suspension due to an altercation in Game Three.
Orlando is hoping to become just the ninth team to come from down 3-1 to win a best-of-seven series. Game Six is on Thursday in Atlanta.
All Star center Dwight Howard, who was averaging 32.2 points per game, managed just eight points and eight rebounds while battling foul trouble.
Josh Smith had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks who trailed 58-35 at halftime and never recovered.
(Source: Reuters)