Bulls point guard Derrick Rose received his MVP trophy before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Hawks. Wednesday night at the United Center he played like one, scoring 25 points in an 86-73 Chicago victory to even the series with Atlanta 1-1. Here is more from the AP and espn.com, followed by more blogging from Scott.

Rose scored 25 points, Joakim Noah added 19 points and 14 rebounds, and Chicago beat Atlanta 86-73 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Wednesday night to knot this series.

The top-seeded Bulls shook off a dismal performance in the opener and looked more like the team with a league-high 62 wins, building a 14-point lead and ending the game on a 9-2 run after the Hawks got within six.

Bulls even series

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeaux led his team to the best regular season record by preaching defense. Derrick Rose's MVP performance got the most headlines, but Chicago's defense throughout the year deserved just as many. In Monday's Game 1 loss to the Hawks, the Bulls defense was lackluster, even absent at times. It returned to the United Center Wednesday night, as they held Atlanta to 34% shooting from the field.

The Hawks have to be happy they're going home for Game 3 and 4 with a series split. Games 3 and 4 at Philips Arena in Atlanta are scheduled for Friday and Sunday.