NBA Playoffs 2012: Chicago Bulls stay alive in the playoffs with a 77-69 win over Indiana Pacers in Game 5
Chicago Bulls carved out a 77-69 win in Game 5 here at the United Center on Tuesday night to keep their playoff hopes alive in a low scoring battle between the two teams.
Luol Deng hit four key three pointers in the ball game to finish with a game high of 24 points for the Bulls. Carlos Boozer followed him up with a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds, where as the Sixers
were led by Jrue Holiday, finishing with 16 points. Spencer Hawes had 11 points to go along with 14 rebounds.
It was a defensive battle from both sides and the extremely low score of 35-26 at the half was mere proof of the fact. Even though the Bulls are well capable to achieving this feat of holding teams to low scores,
Philadelphia had only them-selves to blame for their lack of offense and worst first half score in their franchise history.
"They were the No. 1 defensive and rebounding team in the regular season for a reason. We are getting good shots. We just didn't hit our open shots." – Elton Brand, Sixers, Forward.
On the night, Philadelphia shot the ball just 32 percent from the field, managing to only connect 25 times out of the 78 attempts, they took at the basket during the game.
The first quarter was a closely contested affair with both sides failing to score much and holding their opponents scoreless as well. With 1.7 second remaining in the opening period, Deng hit one from beyond
the arc to give the Bulls a 17-16 lead.
The second quarter saw a similar kind of script being played out, with both sides grinding it out on the defensive end. Bulls were able to put an end to that by putting together a 10-2 run to attain a 35-26 lead
at the half way stage. The hosts were able to hold their lead above the double digit mark mostly through the third quarter.
However, the more frightening part of the period, for the Bulls was when Taj Gibson seemed to go down with an ankle injury and had to leave the game. The capacity crowd of 22093 breathed a sigh of relief when
he returned back in the fourth quarter. Gibson finished the game with 8 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.
Chicago started the final quarter off on a 10-4 burst and never really looked in trouble for the rest of the proceedings. Bulls managed to answer back on every bit of offensive surge from the Sixers, never allowing
them to make their way back into the game.