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Published: Thursday, 5/5/2011

Rose, Bulls even series with Hawks

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Newly-crowned MVP Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, left, is hounded by Atlanta's Jamal Crawford in the fourth quarter Wednesday in Game 2. The Bulls pulled away late for a 86-73 win to even the series at one game apiece. Newly-crowned MVP Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, left, is hounded by Atlanta's Jamal Crawford in the fourth quarter Wednesday in Game 2. The Bulls pulled away late for a 86-73 win to even the series at one game apiece.
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CHICAGO -- Newly crowned MVP Derrick Rose scored 25 points, Joakim Noah added 19 points and 14 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Atlanta Hawks 86-73 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Wednesday night to tie the series.

The top-seeded Bulls shook off a dismal performance in the opener, building a 14-point lead and ending the game on a 9-2 run after the Hawks got within six.

Now, the series shifts to Atlanta for Games 3 and 4 Friday and Sunday, with Chicago at least in better shape after a Game 1 loss.

The night started with commissioner David Stern presenting Rose the MVP trophy, and the superstar point guard showed just why he became the youngest player to win the award -- at least in the first half, when he scored 16 points.

He went cold after that and wound up hitting just 10 of 27 shots, going 1 of 8 on 3-pointers. He did convert 4 of 6 free throws after failing to get to the line in the opener.

Noah helped pick up the slack. So did Luol Deng, who scored all but two of his 14 points in the second half and grabbed 12 rebounds in the game.

Carlos Boozer, bothered by a turf toe injury on his right foot, had eight points and 11 boards.

They won even though they shot just 39 percent and were 5 of 22 on 3-pointers, because they dominated on the glass.

The Bulls outrebounded the Hawks 58-39 and held them to 33.8 percent shooting.

Atlanta's Jeff Teague had another good game filling in for the injured Kirk Hinrich with 21 points, but Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford struggled.

Johnson saw his scoring dip from 34 points to 16. Crawford finished with just 11 after scoring 22 in Game 1, and the Hawks simply couldn't sustain any momentum.

The Bulls led by as much as 14 and finally put away the Hawks in the closing minutes.

Rose provided the final point when he hit a free throw in the closing seconds as the fans chanted "MVP! MVP!"

Stern presented him with the trophy before the opening tip and told him, "In a league of very valuable players, you are the most valuable."



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