Bulls Vs. Pacers, Game 2: Derrick Rose Leads Chicago To Another Narrow Win, 96-90

Derrick Rose once again carried the load in Game 2 with 36 points, eight rebounds and six assists en route to a tight 96-90 victory.

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Paul George, Pacers' Heart Impress Indiana Fans In Game 2 Loss To Bulls

The Indiana Pacers suffered a loss in Game 2 not entirely dislike the loss suffered in Game 1 of their 2011 NBA Playoffs series against the Chicago Bulls. In each game, the Pacers improbably hung around with a multi-possession lead, only to watch Derrick Rose take over late and ice the game in the closing minutes. (Doubles off of Kyle Korver in the corner were also inexplicably involved.)

But as a result of sticking with the league's best team during the regular season, Pacers fans have found reason to be optimistic heading into Game 3 in Indianapolis. From Indy Cornrows:

The Indiana Pacers are having themselves quite an interesting coming out party, where in losses, they're slowly gaining the respect of the NBA. They've done so by doing everything to win against the mighty Chicago Bulls except win.

And right now, that's okay, because they've already gone so much further in two losses to Chicago than most people thought they'd go in an entire series. It's not even a discussion on moral victories. This series sits at 2-0, but the Pacers haven't given up any ground. The series now shifts to Indianapolis, where the Pacers will play host to what is sure to be a far more lively and excited crowd than sat in shock at the United Center.

Cornrows is also (rightfully) excited by rookie Paul George's early defense on Rose; George forced the presumptive MVP into some bad turnovers and tough shots, and seems like a much better option to defend Rose than any guard on Indiana's roster.

Can Indiana win Games 3 and 4 to bring the series back to Chicago all knotted up? It'd be a stunning turn of events, but no more stunning than the Pacers having real chances to win the first two games.

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Pacers vs. Bulls, Final Score: Rose Scores 36 As Chicago Takes 2-0 Series Lead

Derrick Rose scored 36 points as the Chicago Bulls held off the Indiana Pacers 96-90 on Monday night in Game 2 of their playoff series. The Bulls now lead the series 2-0.

Danny Granger brought the Pacers within two points at 85-83 with 74 seconds left before Joakim Noah took two dribbles down the lane and kicked to Korver, who knocked down his only three of the game to put Chicago ahead, 90-85, with 1:04 showing on the clock.

The Pacers went directly at Noah on their next possession, as the center was playing with five personal fouls. However, Roy Hibbert was called for a questionable offensive foul on his hook shot, negating Paul George’s putback. Indiana had one more chance after A.J. Price hit three free throws after being fouled by Derrick Rose, but Chicago knocked down its final six free throws to seal the result.

Game 3 is set for Thursday night at Conseco Fieldhouse with tip-off coming on NBA TV and FSIndiana at 7 p.m. ET.

For more on this series, Chicago fans should check out Blog A Bull and SB Nation Chicago while Indiana fans should visit Indy Cornrows and SB Nation Indiana.

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Pacers Vs. Bulls Score: Derrick Rose Leads Chicago Back To 67-67 Tie After Three

After trailing in the first half, Chicago came roaring back behind Derrick Rose who has 22 points, seven rebounds, and six assists after three quarters. The Bulls would have entered the fourth quarter with the lead if not for a three-quarter court buzzer-beater by the Pacers T.J. Ford that tied the game at 67-67 as time expired. 

The Bulls grabbed control in the third finishing off a 19-5 run that saw them erase an early Indiana lead, and take a five point lead of their own. Besides Rose, Carlos Boozer has had a solid game with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Luol Deng also has 10 for Chicago. 

Danny Granger helped keep the Pacers within striking distance with 17 points. Indiana lost starting point guard Darren Collison to an ankle injury in the first half. Collison came out at halftime and tried to warm up but returned to the locker room and will not play in the remainder of this game. 

For more on this series, Chicago fans should check out Blog A Bull and SB Nation Chicago while Indiana fans should visit Indy Cornrows and SB Nation Indiana.

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Pacers Vs. Bulls Score: Danny Granger Leads Indiana To 47-44 Halftime Lead

Chicago may go on too win this series, but it appears that Indiana isn't going to make it easy for them. Darren Collison and Danny Granger both scored eight points while helping Indiana take a 47-44 lead into the locker room at halftime. A.J. Price scored seven points while Tyler Hansbrough chipped in six for the Pacers. 

Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer each have 13 points for Chicago but haven't got much from anyone else. Boozer also has nine rebounds to lead Chicago. 

The Pacers shot a respectable 43% in the first half which was much better than Chicago's 36%. The Bulls have been able to keep things close thanks to a 30-17 rebounding advantage which includes 12 offensive rebounds already. If Indiana wants to pull off an upset, then they are going to have to do a better job of rebounding the basketball. The Bulls have been a little turnover prone with 10 in the first half. 

For more on this series, Chicago fans should check out Blog A Bull and SB Nation Chicago while Indiana fans should visit Indy Cornrows and SB Nation Indiana.

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Pacers Vs Bulls Score: Tyler Hansbrough Helps Lead Indiana To 18-17 Lead After One

After spending most of the Game 1 in foul trouble, Carlos Boozer has gotten off to a much better start in Game 2 scoring nine points and seven rebounds in the first quarter. However, Indiana leads 18-17 in a sluggishly defensive quarter that was plagued by foul trouble for both teams. Derrick Rose scored four points but was just 1-5 from the field before heading to the bench with two personal fouls. 

Indiana enjoyed a more balanced attack offensively with point guard Darren Collison leading the way with six points. Tyler Hansbrough and Jeff Foster were active for the Pacers with four points apiece. Indiana has a little bit of foul trouble to be concerned with as both Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert picked up two fouls each in the first quarter. 

For more on this series, Chicago fans should check out Blog A Bull and SB Nation Chicago while Indiana fans should visit Indy Cornrows and SB Nation Indiana.

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Bulls Vs. Pacers, Game 2: Can Indiana Challenge Derrick Rose, Chicago Again?

Derrick Rose bailed the Chicago Bulls out in Game 1, leading a masterful comeback in the closing minutes to vanquish the surprisingly competitive Indiana Pacers 104-99. Rose finished with 39 points, but shot 10-23 from the field and a nearly historic 0-9 on three-pointers. (John Starks has the playoff record with an 0-11 from downtown performance.) All those early misses? That, and some surprisingly porous frontcourt defense, led to the need for Rose's heroics.

The question that leads into Game 2 is whether that was the Pacers' best effort, or if they have another gear to reach against Chicago. Tyler Hansbrough has at times played as well as he did against Chicago in Game 1; he had 22 points on 10-19 shooting. But the Bulls' defense, tops in the league, doesn't usually let anyone pop off, let alone a big man. Hansbrough dominated Carlos Boozer, the weakest defensive link in Chicago's rotation (Kyle Korver excepted), which may force Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau to swap Joakim Noah or reserve Taj Gibson on to Psycho T.

The Bulls can certainly play better than they did in Game 1, but never underestimate the impact of a rattling awakening; Chicago nearly lost the first game of what the team hopes will be a long march to the Finals, and that near-loss came against the lowest rated team in the postseason. The pressure is on both teams -- it's the playoffs, after all! -- but the stakes are higher for the teams with higher expectations. Most of the Bulls' best players are young. Keep an eye on how measured their play is.

Game 2 of Bulls vs. Pacers tips at 9:30 p.m. ET on TNT. For our coverage of the series, check out our Bulls vs. Pacers hub.

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