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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bulls charge to 2-0 series lead over Pacers (PHOTO INSIDE)


The Chicago Bulls survived another scare from the Indiana Pacers on Monday to grind out a tense 96-90 victory and take a 2-0 lead in the East's best-of-seven playoff series.

As in Game One, regular season MVP contender Derrick Rose was in sensational form and recorded 36 points, eight rebounds and six assists to pull his team through.

Chicago sharpshooter Kyle Korver made a three-pointer to give the home team a 90-85 lead with 1:04 remaining and the Bulls hung on to hand the Pacers another heartbreaking loss.

The Pacers were in position to win Game One on Saturday but Chicago overcome a 10-point deficit with three minutes remaining to take the contest.

"We're standing toe-to-toe with this team. I'm proud of our guys and we'll take it back to Indiana and see what happens," Pacers coach Frank Vogel told reporters.

The eighth-seeded Pacers host Game Three on Thursday.

After staying within striking distance of the Bulls throughout Monday's game, Indiana took a two-point lead midway through the fourth before Rose caught fire.

Chicago's All Star guard, who had 39 points on Saturday, scored nine of his team's next 11 points.

The Bulls finished the regular season with the best record but have had their hands full against the Pacers.

"We knew it was going to be tough. They're a good team, they finished the regular season strong," Rose said of the Pacers. "We're just happy that we won tonight. We almost lost because of turnovers."

Carlos Boozer had 17 points and 16 rebounds for Chicago, who had 21 turnovers in the game.

Indiana got 19 points from Danny Granger but lost starting point guard Darren Collison to an ankle injury in the first half. His status for Game Three is unknown.


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