The question surrounding Game 1 for the Chicago Bulls was, Is Derrick Rose healthy enough for the Bulls to dominate this series? The initial answer was 23 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, one steal and one block.
But with a little over a minute left in the fourth quarter, Rose planted wrong on his left leg when going up for a shot and fell to the ground in agony.
Rose was able to walk off the court with assistance, and we now know he tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season. Rose has only played 39 games this season, and this one could significantly impair the championship hopes for the Bulls.
In a game that featured a lot of runs, the Bulls never really seemed challenged by the Philadelphia 76ers. The best defensive team in the league gave up 91 points to the 76ers while the third-best defensive team in the league gave up 103 points to the Bulls.
The Bulls starters played magnificently. In addition to Rose's stats, Richard Hamilton scored 19 points, Luol Deng scored 17 points and Joakim Noah added 12 points and 13 rebounds. The Bench Mob was quiet until the beginning of the fourth quarter, but were able to collectively add 23 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, four steals and two blocks. Kyle Korver had 11 points—eight of them in the fourth—and Taj Gibson put up seven points.
Philadelphia, 23rd in the league in scoring, clearly struggled against the Bulls defense for most of the game and ended up shooting 39.8 percent on 33-of-83 shooting. Elton Brand had 19 points, Jrue Holiday added 16 points and Andre Iguodala put up 11 points. Thaddeus young contributed from the bench with 13 points and Evan Turner, who was booed all game by Bulls fans, ended with 12 points.
Things got chippy during the third quarter of this game with Hamilton taking exception to rough play from Andre Iguodala and retaliating with some uncaught pushing. A few minutes later with around four-and-a-half minutes left in the third quarter, Rose, Hamilton and Brand were all assessed technical fouls after Turner fouled Noah under the basket.
After trailing 3-0 to start the game, the Bulls came back to take the lead 4-3 with 10:18 left in the first quarter and never trailed again. The Bulls led this game 28-24 after the first quarter, 53-42 after the second quarter, 79-66 after the third quarter and finished the game winning by 103-91.
The Bulls now lead the series 1-0. The next game will be played on Tuesday, April 1 at 8:00 PM ET at the United Center in Chicago. With a strong showing in Game 1, the Bulls could be carrying a lot of momentum into Tuesday night's matchup, which will air on TNT, but face a tall task the rest of the way without Rose.
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