By Conrad Brunner
Chicago -- Derrick Rose did it to the Pacers again.
Rose scored seven of his game-high 39 points and assisted on two other baskets in a 16-1 run in the final 3˝ minutes as Chicago rallied from a 10-point deficit to beat the Pacers 104-99 Saturday in Game 1 of a first-round NBA Playoffs series before 22,986 in the United Center.
The Pacers did not trail for more than 47 minutes and led by as many as 12 until Rose worked his magic once more. In the last meeting of the regular season on March 18, Rose scored 42 points, including 19 of Chicago's final 20 in regulation to wipe out a 15-point Indiana lead to force overtime.
That one had a happy ending for Indiana, which rallied to win in overtime. This one did not.
Danny Granger scored 24, Tyler Hansbrough 22 and Darren Collison 17 with nine assists for the Pacers.
Eighth-seed Indiana trails 0-1 in the best-of-seven series. The team that loses the opening game has won just 88 of 408 (.216) first-round series. The Pacers have a chance to get even in Game 2 Monday night in the United Center. The top-seeded Bulls won their 10th straight game, including the final nine of the regular season.
- "I'm very proud of our effort tonight. I have a great deal of belief in this team. We should have won this game. The last several weeks we've been playing as well as anyone in the NBA. This will be a series." -- interim coach Frank Vogel
- "I thought we did a good job on (Rose) all night. I look at the 39 points and I'm shocked. But what do you expect from a player who has Allen Iverson's speed, Jason Kidd's vision, (Chauncey) Billups' shooting touch and Michael Jordan's athleticism?" -- Vogel
- "For our guys' (first) playoff game, I thought it showed what we're made of. Yes, we're confident not dejected. We should have won this game and the guys know that. We're playing with a lot of confidence and this is going to be a good series." -- Vogel
- "It's really tough. This one hurts, it hurts. In the back of our minds we hear about how the media talking about how we're not supposed to be here so we wanted to go out there and hit them first. I can tell them this, though, it's going to be like this every night. There won't be any easy ones." -- Roy Hibbert
- "For parts of the game we played as good as we could play but at the end they just took over and executed down the stretch." -- Jeff Foster
- “We could not stop (Rose). We have to go back to the drawing board and figure out how. We could not stop him enough to get the win." -- Granger
- "We put forth a good effort, but who cares, we're 0-1. We've got another game so in 2 days, we definitely have to put forth the effort. We have to get the win." -- Granger
- "It's like a crazy stalker ex-girlfriend. Every time you tell her you don't want to talk to her, she shows up at your door again. We kept making runs one after another and they kept coming back." -- Granger
- "This one is done. We have to learn from it, make our corrections, and get ready for the next game. For us, what we do is go step by step. We don't look back, we don't look ahead, we look at exactly what is in front of us. We're gonna get ready for Game 2." -- Coach Tom Thibodeau
- "We just got stops and ran. They were in their defensive sets and were forcing me to pass. That and the fact I was not hitting my outside shot was tough. It wasn't going in for me. Next game, it will go in. " -- Rose
- "(The Pacers)' effort was great. They were making shots, playing defense and rebounding. We just need to be sharper at the defensive end ourselves. That's what gets us going. Tonight we knew it was going to be a hard game. In the beginning, we were not prepared for it. We just need to look at film, be sharper. We'll be ready Monday." -- Rose
STAT OF THE GAME
Rose attempted (21) and made (19) more free throws than the entire Pacers team (11 of 17).
Though the Bulls were widely expected to throw the first punch as the top-seeded home team, the Pacers took the lead right away and did not relinquish it, pushing the margin to eight twice in the second quarter (47-39 and 51-43) and took a 55-51 lead into the break.
Granger came out hot to start the third quarter, scoring eight in a row as the Pacers extended the lead to 69-57 on a drive by Collison. The Bulls remained at arm's length deep into the fourth quarter.
Rose hit a pair of free throws to close the cap to 91-88 with 4:52 left but Hansbrough answered with three straight buckets, including a steal and driving three-point play that drew Carlos Boozer's fifth foul and put Indiana up 98-88 with 3:38 remaining.
But the Pacers would not score another basket, missing their final eight shots. Rose tied it at 99-all with a drive, then fed Kyle Korver for an open 3-pointer that gave Chicago its first lead of the game, 102-99, with 48 seconds left.
Granger missed a quick jumper but the Pacers played tough defense, forcing a tough off-balance shot by Luol Deng that missed as the shot-clock was expiring but Kurt Thomas chased down the offensive rebound with 18 seconds left, sealing the Pacers' fate.
BY THE NUMBERS
Granger shot 10-of-20 overall, 4-of-8 from the arc and had six rebounds and three assists but did not attempt a free throw. Hansbrough shot 10-of-19, adding four rebounds and two assists. Collison made 7-of-15 and had nine assists, six rebounds and two steals. The Pacers shot 46 percent, were 10-of-18 (56 percent) from the 3-point line and had 21 assists against 12 turnovers but were outrebounded 49-34 and outscored 19-8 on second-chance points.
Rose shot just 10-of-23, missing all nine of his 3-point attempts, but was 19-of-21 from the line, adding six assists, six rebounds and three blocked shots to his 39 points. Deng scored 18 with 10 rebounds, Korver went 4-of-4 from the arc and scored 13, Boozer battled foul trouble and was held to 12 points and Joakim Noah had 10 points and 11 boards. The Bulls shot 43 percent and were 6-of-20 (30 percent) from the arc.
- The Pacers got a scare late in the third quarter when Hansbrough took an elbow to the side of the head from Thomas and went down hard, remaining motionless for a few moments before being helped off the floor. But Hansbrough, who missed most of his rookie season due to the effects of a concussion, was examined and cleared to return in the fourth quarter.
- Shortly after returning in the final period, Hansbrough committed a hard foul against Rose that resulted in an angry response -- and technical foul -- from Deng.
- Perhaps painfully aware the Rose was doing most of his damage from the free-throw line (8-of-10 in the half), Frank Vogel picked up the first technical foul of his tenure protesting a traveling call against Collison after he collided with Rose on a drive in the closing seconds of the first half.
- The Pacers are now 17-16 in Game 1s, 6-13 on the road.
- The Bulls are 34-25 in Game 1s, 27-5 at home.
- Game 2: Monday at Chicago (9:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m., TNT, WIBC 93 FM).
- Game 3: Thursday at Conseco Fieldhouse (7 p.m. Fox Sports Indiana, NBA TV, WIBC 93 FM)
- Game 4: Saturday at Conseco Fieldhouse (2:30 p.m., TNT, WIBC 93 FM)
- Game 5*: Tuesday, April 26 at Chicago, TBD
- Game 6*: Thursday, April 28 at Conseco Fieldhouse, TBD
- Game 7*: Saturday, April 30 at Chicago, TBD