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Chicago’s Rose out for postseason

NBA Playoffs

POSTED April 29, 2012 12:32 a.m.

CHICAGO (AP) — Derrick Rose crumbled to the floor, clutching his left knee. His season is over and the Bulls’ title hopes just might be finished, too.
Rose will miss the rest of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee late in Chicago’s 103-91 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in Saturday’s playoff opener, casting big cloud over a team eyeing a championship run.
He scored 23 points and was playing more like the league’s reigning MVP after missing 27 games because of injuries during the regular season, but his injury-plagued season came to an end as the Bulls were wrapping up an impressive victory.
Rose crumbled to the ground after he drove the lane with about 1:20 left and the Bulls leading by 12. He was going for a layup when he came to a jump-stop and seemed to change his mind as the 76ers’ Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen rotated over, passing off to a teammate before an awkward landing.
Team medical personnel immediately rushed out and tended to Rose for several minutes as he was writhing in pain near the baseline before helping him to the locker room. Rose was taken to the hospital, and the results of the MRI were not good.
Whether Rose should have been in the game at that point figures to be debated for a long time around Chicago. He checked back in with just under eight minutes left and the lead got as high as 20 shortly after that before the Sixers chipped away at it.
With Philadelphia making a push, coach Tom Thibodeau decided to stay with Rose.
“I don’t work backward like you guys do,” Thibodeau said. “The score was going the other way.”
Veteran guard Richard Hamilton defended the decision, saying, “Philly was making a run. In playoff basketball, you never want to give a team confidence. ... When you have a team down, you have to try to keep them down. They made a little run so we needed guys that could put the ball in the basket.”
Losing Rose is obviously a huge blow for a team that made the conference finals last year and captured the top overall seed for the second straight season.
He was finally performing more like the reigning MVP after being out of the lineup so often during the regular season with various injuries and mostly struggling the few times he did play late in the regular season.
Rose found his touch after a slow start in this game and also contributed nine rebounds and nine assists. Hamilton added 19 points, Luol Deng scored 17 and Joakim Noah (12 points, 13 rebounds) had a double-double for Chicago.
Elton Brand led Philadelphia with 19 points. Jrue Holiday scored 16, and Thaddeus Young had 13 points. Chicago product Evan Turner scored 12 and was booed mercilessly after acknowledging he thought the Miami Heat would be a tougher first-round matchup.
Well, he might be right now that Rose is out. Then again, the Bulls grabbed home-court advantage throughout the playoffs despite a run of injuries that would have ruined most teams.
They were 18-9 without Rose during the regular season and had their projected starting five available for just 15 games. Hamilton was out much of the year because of injuries, and Deng has been dealing with a torn ligament in his left wrist.

HEAT 100, KNICKS 67
MIAMI — LeBron James scored 32 points before getting the fourth quarter off, Dwyane Wade added 19 and the Heat rode the strength of a 32-2 run to easily beat the Knicks in Game 1 of the teams’ Eastern Conference first-round series on Saturday.
Mario Chalmers added 11 points and nine assists for Miami, which turned 27 New York turnovers into a franchise playoff-record 38 points.
J.R. Smith scored 17 for the Knicks, who lost Iman Shumpert to a torn knee ligament and have dropped 11 straight playoff games dating back to 2001. Carmelo Anthony missed 12 of 15 shots and finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Baron Davis added 10 points for New York.
Game 2 is Monday in Miami.

MAGIC 81, PACERS 77
INDIANAPOLIS — Jason Richardson and Jameer Nelson scored 17 points apiece to help sixth-seeded Orlando, playing without Dwight Howard, surprise the third-seeded Pacers in Game 1 of the first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
Howard, the Magic’s leading scorer and the league’s top rebounder, will miss the rest of the season after having back surgery. The Magic played defense Howard would have been proud of down the stretch, overcoming a seven-point deficit by holding the Pacers scoreless for the final 4:05.
David West scored 19 points, Danny Granger added 17 and Roy Hibbert had eight points, 13 rebounds and nine blocks for the Pacers. Granger traveled with 7.5 seconds left and the Pacers trailing by three.
Game 2 is Monday in Indianapolis.

Today’s games
Noon — Utah at San Antonio, ESPN
2:30 p.m. — Denver at L.A. Lakers, ABC
6 p.m. — Boston at Atlanta, TNT
8:30 p.m. — L.A. Clippers at Memphis, TNT

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