The Chicago Bulls beat the Indiana Pacers 116-89 to reach the second round of the National Basketball Association playoffs, while the Orlando Magic won to avoid elimination and the Los Angeles Lakers broke a series tie.
Derrick Rose had 25 points and Luol Deng added 24 last night for the Bulls, who won the best-of-seven series by four games to one. Danny Granger scored 20 points for the Pacers at the United Center in Chicago.
“It’s a great accomplishment,” Rose told reporters. “I’m happy for my teammates, happy for my coaching staff. They did a really great job.”
The Magic beat the Atlanta Hawks 101-76 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, to trail 3-2 in their Eastern Conference series. Jason Richardson led the Magic with 17 points, while Josh Smith had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks. The series moves back to Atlanta tomorrow for Game 6, with a decider two days later in Orlando if necessary.
At the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 19 points and Andrew Bynum had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the defending NBA champion Lakers, who went up 3-2 in their Western Conference series against the New Orleans Hornets with a 106-90 win last night. Trevor Ariza had 22 points and Marco Belinelli added 21 for the Hornets, who host Game 6 tomorrow.
In tonight’s games, the Miami Heat, Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder can advance to the second round with victories against the Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs and Denver Nuggets, respectively.