INDIANAPOLIS -- Derrick Rose's game-winning basket with 17.8 seconds left in Game 3 against Indiana had some amazing qualities. It wasn't so much that he came through again in the clutch or delivered after going 0-for-8 from the field in the second half.
The Pacers knew Rose would try to drive to the basket, because that's what he does. But Rose was still able to go left, blow past Dahntay Jones and barely meet any resistance at the rim. Rose has thrown in some impossible shots in this series.
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This one almost seemed routine.
"It wasn't really that easy," Rose said with a laugh following Friday's practice. "I thought he (Jones) was going to cut me off, actually. When I went in, I'm pretty good using my left hand. I just tried, if anything, get it up on the basket because I knew (Carlos) Boozer and Joakim (Noah) were around. Somehow it went in."
The play started with a high screen by Noah, which caused the Pacers to briefly switch defensive assignments and left 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert standing next to Rose 30 feet from the basket.
When Rose took off, Jones left Noah, but didn't slide over quickly enough to meet Rose. Luol Deng and Kyle Korver were set up on the left side behind the 3-point line. The Pacers had three defenders waiting at the corners of the lane, but Danny Granger, Paul George and Tyler Hansbrough didn't react in time and Hibbert couldn't get back into the lane fast enough.
"The whole night they'd been playing good defense on me," Rose said. "I saw an opening and just went for it and they didn't foul me. Right when I got to the basket, I just made sure I took my time and laid it up right on the board."
Korver can't miss:
Derrick Rose talked about the luxury of having Kyle Korver on the floor. Korver is 7-for-8 from 3-point range in this series and scored 10 points in the fourth quarter of Game 3.
"We tell him to shoot every shot," Rose said. "If he's open, we don't care how far he is away from the basket. His chances are better than ours.
"If anything, he's been doing great, coming up to me and telling me when he's open on certain plays. That's what you need when you're a point guard -- guys that come up and tell you certain things, because you're not going to see everything that's going on on the court."
No rest for Rose:
NBA TV analyst Chris Webber had this to say during Thursday's broadcast about concerns that Derrick Rose will get worn out because he's asked to do so much for the Bulls:
"I don't worry about the fatigue," Webber said. "At 23, I don't think I ever got tired ... ever. I do worry that he has to do the most for his team. Getting worn out because of fatigue, I don't think that will happen."
The other studio analyst was former Orlando guard Dennis Scott, who noticed Rose icing his knees before a game in Atlanta earlier this season.
"I asked him what was wrong with his knees," Scott said. "He said, 'The vets are telling me to ice my knees.' Most guys early in their career don't start icing until fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth year after they've had a few playoff runs under their belt. Now Derrick Rose is doing all of these things early. It is impressive to know that a guy is taking precautionary measures before he gets injured."
Comcast SportsNet garnered a 13.69 rating for Thursday's Game 3 of the Bulls-Pacers series. That's the highest rating for any game in any sport since the network launched in 2004. The Blackhawks also drew their all-time best rating of 10.58. ... The Bulls practiced briefly at IUPUI on Friday, but still took the time to tape an NBA lane and 3-point lines onto the court.