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Derrick Rose holds firm on Pacers’ ‘celebration’

Joakim Noah Derrick Rose whoop it up bench after late-game bucket by Brian Scalabrine.   |  Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose whoop it up on the bench after a late-game bucket by Brian Scalabrine. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: April 10, 2012 10:30AM

After the Bulls’ 92-72 victory Monday against the Indiana Pacers,
reporters told Derrick Rose the Pacers didn’t think they celebrated after their victory Jan. 25 at the United Center.

The Pacers thought they were just high-fiving, typical of what they do after any victory, home or away.

But Rose didn’t even wait to hear the entire explanation. He interrupted and answered as emphatically as he has to any question all season.

‘‘Yes, they did,’’ Rose said. ‘‘For sure. I saw it.’’

And the victory Monday apparently did nothing to help Rose forget it.

While he denied the incident gave the Bulls extra motivation, Rose was clear about what he thinks is proper postgame etiquette. He might have to wait until April 25 — when the Bulls play in Indiana — to see if the Pacers got the memo, though.

‘‘I don’t show any emotions, and I think I did see some of their players celebrating,’’ Rose said. ‘‘That’s something I don’t forget. To me, in my eyes, it looked like they were celebrating.’’

In the locker room after the game Jan. 25, Rose admitted he ‘‘couldn’t wait to play them again.’’

It took him a little while to get going, though. Rose scored only two points in the first half Monday, and the Pacers limited the Bulls to four fast-break points on their way to a 43-42 halftime lead.

But Rose came alive with 11 points and five assists in the third quarter as the Bulls outscored the Pacers 33-13 to take control.

Rose sat out the fourth quarter and was stretching by the bench for much of that time. Afterward, he said it wasn’t injury-related.

‘‘I’m definitely good,’’ Rose said. ‘‘Thibs [coach Tom Thibodeau] said to go over there and stretch for a little bit. I stretched, and it was his decision not to put me in.’’

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