Tuesday night the Chicago Bulls finally remembered that they were the Chicago Bulls.

The team with the best record in the NBA this season finally played like it, ending their frustrating first-round series with the Pacers.

The Chicago Bulls crushed the Indiana pacers 116 - 89 Tuesday night at the United Center. They win the series 4-1 and now move on to the second round.

The Bulls had six players score in double figures, led by Rose's 25 and Deng's 24. Granger paced Indiana with 20 points.

The Bulls got off to a lightning-quick start as they held a 12-2 lead less than three minutes into the game.

The Pacers finally began to show signs of life on offense, but there defense was still nowhere to be found. Chicago was on fire, Derrick Rose had 11 points and Joakim Noah had ten, as the Bulls led by 11 after the first quarter.

The second quarter started a little better for the Pacers, as Rose was called for a hand-check foul on their first possession and went to the bench.

On top of that, Noah and Boozer both picked up their third personal foul with just under seven minutes remaining in the half. With just11 seconds left in the first half, Rose was called for a charging foul, giving him his third personal.

http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/article/media_slots/photos/000/157/168/Pacers_Bulls_Basketball.sff_108265_game_crop_340x234.jpg?1303872803Surprisingly, it took the crowd nearly 20 minutes to begin their "Foster sucks" and "Pacers suck" chants, as they were heard with about four minutes left in the half.

While Granger led the Pacers with 14 points at the half, he also had multiple bad turnovers. One play walking down the court he dribbled the ball off his own leg, and twice he had it ripped right from his hands by Deng, which led to a couple of fast break scores.

It was a decent second quarter for Indiana, but the Bulls still led by eight points at the half.

The Bulls were in some foul trouble most of the game, especially when Rose picked up his fourth just three minutes into the third quarter.

That helped keep the crowd out of the game for Indiana. As odd as it sounds, the Bulls fans may have been louder in Indianapolis than they were in Chicago.

The Pacers trimmed the lead to four points midway through the third quarter, as Hansbrough scored on a basket where Boozer also picked up his fourth foul. Rose came back into the game though, and the momentum went right back to the Bulls.

Rose hit two big three-pointers and had a spectacular block on seven-foot Center Roy Hibbert in a matter of seconds. In the blink of a Rose crossover, the lead was back up to 12.

Noah and McRoberts both threw elbows in the final seconds of the game, but only McRoberts was given a foul, and was ejected. The Bulls had a 23-8 run in the third, and held a 19 point lead going into the final quarter. The series had just 12 more minutes remaining.

http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/article/media_slots/photos/000/157/169/Pacers_Bulls_Basketball.sff_108270_game_original_original_crop_340x234.jpg?1303872856In the first four games, the Pacers had arguably outplayed the Bulls in each, but the difference had been the fourth quarters. This one wasn't much different. The Bulls had outscored Indiana by 28 points in those four contests, and held a comfortable double-digit lead even with Rose on the bench in the final period.

The Bulls make it to the second round, which wasn't a surprise at all. What was a surprise, was the level of difficulty they had getting there. This wasn't your typical 1 vs. 8 seed in the playoffs (yet more normal than out West with the Spurs/Grizzlies) as the Pacers took it to Chicago in every game.

The Pacers, who finished the season at eight games under .500, played with intensity and confidence every night, and showed that they have some young talent and may finally be on the rise.

The Bulls will now wait on the winner of the Magic/Hawks series, which looks like it might head to seven games. They will get some much needed rest before that series begins. Rose will have time to heal his ankle (if it isn't already), Korver will be able to rest his arms from shooting so much, and Boozer will have time to realize that he is 6'9" and 265 pounds.

As many times as the fans in Chicago were chanting "Pacers suck" and "Foster sucks", they should have done it an equal amount of times for their own "star" in Boozer.

Once again, he struggled, was in foul trouble, and couldn't do anything on offense against a team with virtually no big men. In the five game series, Boozer only scored 50 points, and shot 19-53 from the floor.

Now the Pacers season is over, and they can begin to think about their future. There will probably be some big changes coming both with the roster, and in the front office. They have a nice, young, core group of players, and will have the most cap space of any team in the league.

Even though Game 5 was no indication of how tight this series was, the Pacers can finally end the season on somewhat of a positive note.

By Chad Smith


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