- Associated Press - Monday, April 25, 2011

DEERFIELD, ILL. (AP) - It would probably take a broken bone for Derrick Rose to miss a playoff game, so consider this good news for the Chicago Bulls.

His sprained left ankle is just that _ sprained.

Rose plans to suit up for Game 5 on Tuesday when the Bulls try again to close out their first-round series with the Indiana Pacers.

“It’s getting better every day,” he said Monday. “I’ve been getting treatment on it the last couple of days, coming in in the morning, coming in at night, getting treatment. Hopefully, it’ll be ready tomorrow. It’s not broken so I’m definitely playing.”

The swelling has gone down, and although he plans to get a painkilling shot before the game, he was in flip flops one day after wearing a walking boot. He did sit out Monday’s practice, but the Bulls can breathe a little easier knowing that an MRI confirmed there was no major structural damage.

Rose sprained his ankle driving to the basket late in the first quarter of Game 4 on Saturday and wasn’t his usual dominant self as the Pacers beat Chicago 89-84 to avoid the sweep, finishing with 15 points and 10 assists. He scored just eight points on 3-for-16 shooting after the injury but wasn’t about to use that as an excuse.

“Just missed shots,” he said. “There’s no excuses when you’re still playing. That’s the way I think about it. If I was out there, I should’ve changed. But I’m going to change some things that I didn’t. If anything, I just missed shots. All my shots were short. I twisted my ankle but there are no excuses.”

Rose said he was “just off.” It was as simple as that.

As for the ankle? He didn’t seem too concerned.

“This one is minor, where it takes a couple of days and it’s fine,” Rose said. “If it was broken, I probably would be panicking or something like that. I’m just happy that the trainers have been making sure I’m getting my treatment and it’s coming along fine.”

The Bulls, meanwhile, are getting pushed in a big way after a posting a league-leading 62 wins and securing homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs.

They could just as easily be trailing in this series _ if not out of it _ considering they rallied to win the first three games by a combined 15 points. They made a big run in the closing minutes of Game 4, nearly wiping out a 13-point deficit, but came up short.

A broken play near the end left Carlos Boozer attempting and missing his first 3-pointer since the 2007-08 season and helped keep Indiana’s season going. The Pacers see no reason why it has to stop now.

“We’ve been in every game, could have won every game,” Indiana’s Danny Granger said. “It’s all the confidence we need.”

The Pacers have frustrated Rose and the Bulls with traps, throwing the offense out of sync, and they’ve been fouling hard on shots down low.

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