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updated: 4/16/2011 10:07 PM

How Rose wore down Pacers

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  • Derrick Rose, front, celebrates with Kurt Thomas after the Bulls defeated the Indiana Pacers 104-99 in Game 1.

      Derrick Rose, front, celebrates with Kurt Thomas after the Bulls defeated the Indiana Pacers 104-99 in Game 1.
    Associated Press

 

More than two hours before Saturday's playoff opener, Derrick Rose hit the United Center court with assistant coach Ron Adams to work on his jumper.

Though Rose was hot enough in pregame to hit 10 of 11 3-pointers from the wing during one stretch, his shot deserted him throughout the Bulls' 104-99 Game 1 win over Indiana.

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Rose missed all 9 of his 3-point tries, yet attacked the rim so frequently and unmercifully that he produced 19 of his game-high 39 points at the free-throw line.

"Kid's out of this world," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "You've got Allen Iverson's speed, Jason Kidd vision, Chauncey Billups' shooting and Michael Jordan's athleticism.

"How do you guard that?"

Though his Iverson-Jordan traits worked all game, Rose switched into Kidd mode when it mattered most.

With 48.4 seconds to play, Rose gunned a cross-court pass to uncovered Kyle Korver.

With the sellout crowd rising as one, Korver drilled a 3-pointer to give the Bulls their first lead of the game.

"He kept on telling me he was going to be looking for me," Korver said. "And I told him I was going to be ready."

"If you help too much and leave him open, that's like a layup to him," Rose said. "I was just reading the court."

While Korver's shot put the Bulls over the top, Rose accounted for almost all of the team's points as the hosts scored 16 of the game's 17 points over the last 3:28.

The Bulls felt the game's momentum start to shift when Rose looked up on the court in transition and found Joakim Noah for a dunk.

Though Noah missed the accompanying free throw to keep the score at 98-94 with 2:27 to play, the play got the crowd in the game for good.

Indiana's Roy Hibbert answered with a free throw, but Rose came through with his only 3-point play of the day.

After watching so many layups crawl off the rim after earning a foul call, Rose went berserk (for him) went he drove for a layup with 1:50 left.

He headed to the baseline, pounded his chest and screamed at the fans before heading to the line and hitting his free throw to cut the margin to 99-97.

"I thought it was going to change the game," Rose said. "I thought it was a big play and it just came out (of me)."

Rose followed with a spin into the lane for a perfect floater for the game's first tie since 15-15. Korver blocked a Darren Collison layup into Rose's hands, which led to Korver's go-ahead 3-pointer at the other end.

When Indiana called timeout following the shot, Rose leaped several feet into the air to bump with a teammate and then screamed to the roof.

Perhaps that was the moment Indiana forward Danny Granger realized Rose looked all too familiar.

"It's like a crazy stalker ex-girlfriend," Granger said. "Every time you tell her you don't want to talk to her, she shows up at your door again."

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