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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Rose, Noah lead Bulls over Hawks to tie series 1-1

Thursday, May 5, 2011








CHICAGO ? The top-seeded Chicago Bulls will be awarded no style points, but they gutted out an 86-73 victory against the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2 on Wednesday night to even the Eastern Conference semifinal series 1-1.





  • Joakim Noah (13) had a double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds in the Bulls 86-73 Game 2 win over the Hawks on Wednesday. The series is now tied 1-1.

    By Mike DiNovo, US Presswire


    Joakim Noah (13) had a double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds in the Bulls 86-73 Game 2 win over the Hawks on Wednesday. The series is now tied 1-1.



By Mike DiNovo, US Presswire


Joakim Noah (13) had a double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds in the Bulls 86-73 Game 2 win over the Hawks on Wednesday. The series is now tied 1-1.






Chicago's defense got the memo from coach Tom Thibodeau, holding the offensively potent Hawks to 33.8% shooting from the field and taking a 58-39 rebounding edge. Atlanta scorched the Bulls with 51.3% shooting in its Game 1 upset Monday.


The series moves to Atlanta for Games 3 and 4 on Friday and Sunday.


Newly crowned NBA Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose, held scoreless in the first quarter in Monday's Game 1 loss, started fast Wednesday, scoring 12 in the first quarter and finishing with 25 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. Joakim Noah had 19 points and 14 rebounds.


While tying the series, the game is unlikely to silence critics who say the Bulls have looked nothing like the 62-win team from the regular season in seven playoff games. Carlos Boozer continued to struggle on offense and Rose committed eight turnovers.


Boozer shot 4-for-12 from the field, continuing his offensive slump in the playoffs and placing a huge burden on Rose to score. Rose shot 10-for-27, including 1-for-8 from three-point range.


The Bulls threatened to blow the game open at several points in the second half — leading by 14 points midway through the third quarter — but struggled to put Atlanta away, as the Hawks closed within six with about five minutes left.


Joe Johnson, finding a crowd around him every time he touched the ball after his 34-point game Monday, scored 16 on 7-for-15 shooting. Point guard Jeff Teague led the Hawks with 21 points.


Rose clearly had his game face on as he accepted the MVP trophy from Commissioner David Stern in a pregame ceremony. After holding the trophy aloft to show United Center fans, he took the mike briefly and said, "This is for the city of Chicago."


Before the game, the Chicago native acknowledged his discomfort with the proceedings. "I can't wait to get it out of the way, all the stuff that's been going on," he said. "Of course I'm happy about it, but it would be different if we won the (first) game."


"We're just trying to go get this one."


Stern, speaking to news reporters before the game, said Rose "couldn't be better" as a role model for the league. "He's the full package."


Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver, meanwhile, declined to comment on reports that the players union viewed the league's latest labor proposal as nothing new. "We're continuing to talk to the players. We have one meeting set up, and it's going to be a long process," Silver said.


Asked if the league was learning anything from the NFL's labor stalemate, Stern said it demonstrates that litigation is not the way to make a deal.


NOTES: Asked earlier in the day if the Hawks would see more defensive pressure — particularly Teague — Coach Tom Thibodeau quipped, "Well, some would be good." ... Thibodeau wasn't surprised Rose was a picture of humility during his MVP speech on Tuesday, thanking just about everyone and choking up when he mentioned his family. "He's like that every day, and that's the thing that's most impressive thing about him," Thibodeau said. "He's handled everything with so much class and grace. He's got a great demeanor. He's never satisfied. He wants the team to do well. He cares so much about his teammates. We just want him to continue doing all the things he's doing." ... Blackhawks star Patrick Kane was seen wearing a Rose jersey. ... Hinrich, the former Bulls player, has a strained right hamstring and is expected to miss the series.


Contributing: The Associated Press





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