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Bulls fall, Rose limps off

Joe Johnson, right, driving around Ronnie Brewer during the second quarter, had 34 points and shot 12-of-18 for the Hawks.

Associated Press

Joe Johnson, right, driving around Ronnie Brewer during the second quarter, had 34 points and shot 12-of-18 for the Hawks.

CHICAGO — The Hawks stared down Superman, and they weren't blinking against the Bulls, either.

Joe Johnson had 34 points and Atlanta beat top-seeded Chicago 103-95 on Monday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

As if the loss weren't bad enough, the Bulls got a scare when Derrick Rose came up limping after he turned his left ankle at the end of the game. Their MVP candidate stepped on Jamal Crawford's foot as he dribbled out the final seconds and was helped off by teammates and a trainer.

"I should be okay," Rose said. "I'll probably get treatment right now, go home, get some more treatment and be ready to go for (Game 2) Wednesday."

There were several reports Monday night that Rose, 22, would be announced as the MVP, making him the youngest to receive the award and the second Bull along with Michael Jordan.

That announcement is expected today, with the presentation at Game 2. If the Bulls keep playing like this, that could be their final appearance at the United Center.

The Hawks went on a 15-2 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters to turn a 69-65 deficit into an 80-71 lead with 10:27 left. Johnson hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 during that stretch, and the Hawks hung on.

Johnson hit 12 of 18 shots and all five 3-pointers. Crawford scored 22, and Jeff Teague added 10 while starting at the point for the injured Kirk Hinrich and got the game ball from coach Larry Drew.

"We're the team that nobody talks about," Crawford said.

This is a good way to get them talking: shoot 51.3 percent against one of the league's stingiest defenses and take a series opener days after upsetting Dwight Howard the Magic.

As alarming as all that was for the Bulls, though, the sight of Rose limping off sent a real shiver through Chicago.

"It's tough when your best player is limping off the court with an injury that you know he's had before," said center Joakim Noah, the former Gator. "It's tough, but right now, we have a game on Wednesday in less than 48 hours."

Rose twisted the same ankle in the opening round against Indiana, but even before he limped off the court, this wasn't his best night. He scored 24 but was just 11-of-27 from the field and did not attempt a free throw.

Luol Deng scored 21 for Chicago, and Carlos Boozer added 14 points and eight rebounds despite a right turf toe injury.

Hawks 103, Bulls 95

ATLANTA (103): Williams 2-6 1-1 5, Smith 3-11 2-4 8, Horford 4-7 1-2 9, Teague 5-11 0-0 10, Johnson 12-18 5-5 34, Wilkins 2-4 0-0 4, Crawford 8-16 4-4 22, Pachulia 2-2 2-2 6, Collins 2-3 1-2 5. Totals 40-78 16-20 103.

CHICAGO (95): Deng 8-12 5-6 21, Boozer 6-11 2-2 14, Noah 3-7 5-6 11, Rose 11-27 0-0 24, Bogans 1-4 0-0 3, Brewer 2-4 1-2 6, K.Thomas 0-0 0-0 0, Korver 3-7 0-0 9, Gibson 1-3 0-0 2, Watson 2-7 0-0 5, Asik 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 37-83 13-16 95.

Atlanta 28 23 21 31— 103

Chicago 18 32 21 24— 95

3-Point GoalsAtlanta 7-13 (Johnson 5-5, Crawford 2-4, Teague 0-1, Smith 0-1, Williams 0-2), Chicago 8-18 (Korver 3-4, Rose 2-7, Brewer 1-1, Bogans 1-3, Watson 1-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsAtlanta 45 (Horford 13), Chicago 46 (Noah 9). AssistsAtlanta 20 (Teague 5), Chicago 21 (Rose 10). Total FoulsAtlanta 17, Chicago 16. TechnicalsNoah, Chicago Coach Thibodeau, Chicago defensive three second. Flagrant Fouls—Smith. A22,890 (20,917).

Bulls fall, Rose limps off 05/02/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 12:22am]
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