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NBA News: Bulls rout the Hawks










When asked about the condition of his sprained left ankle, the newly crowned MVP Derrick Rose would insist that his ankle is fine.  Though Rose did admit that it is all psychological it does explain the reason why he is playing tentatively and is afraid if he plants his foot the wrong way he would tweak the ankle again.  Going into Friday nights game, Rose decided to squelch those fears and play the way that earned him this seasons MVP award.  With the series tied 1-1, the Chicago Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks resumed their Eastern Conference semi-final playoff match in the ATL for game 3.  The sold out crowd included a huge contingent of Chicago fans who gave a home court feel for the Bulls.  From the get go Bulls guard Derrick Rose didn't just settle for jump shots, frequently abusing the Hawks defense by  attacking the basket.   This opened up an offensive explosion by Rose  who scored a career-high 44-points which led to a 99-82 rout of the Atlanta Hawks.    Rose wasn't the only one on his hustle, Joakim Noah contributed 15 rebounds and five blocks.  The Bulls bench squad stepped up big time especially in a key spurt in the second quarter.  You can see it was at this point the Hawks confidence was broken and pretty much had no life the rest of the way.  Taj Gibson had 13-points and Kyle Korver added 11 coming off the Bulls bench.  Hawks Jeff Teague who perhaps was the only bit of life  coming from the Hawks got into an offensive duel with Rose in the first quarter.  There was a spurt where Teague and Rose were putting on a show trying to match each other basket-for-basket.  Teague finished with 21-points but was obviously no match for the red-hot Derrick Rose.

  The Hawks didn't get much from Joe Johnson and former Bull Jamal Crawford who both lit up the Bulls back in game 1.  The Bulls defense held Johnson to 10-points on 4-of-12 shooting and Crawford only managed seven.  Hawks forward Josh Smith showed some life by pounding the paint with 17-points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks.  His stat-line may look impressive but the jumpers he took at times were very ugly.  Bulls forward Carlos Boozer continued to struggle in the playoffs.......He did show some flashes but got into early foul trouble which limited his minutes.  The refs called two offensive foul charges on Boozer after strong finishes to the basket. 











 This by far was the Bulls best performance in the 2011 playoffs.  Between Rose's issues with his ankle, Boozer's turf toe and frequent foul troubles, many were beginning to write off the Bulls.  The Bulls silenced the doubters for the moment by regaining home-court advantage and going up 2-1 in the series.  Chicago looked like the team that won 62 games in the regular season and earned the number one seed in the NBA playoffs.  The Bulls and Hawks do it all over again in game 4 on  Sunday night.......nuff said

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