Chicago Bulls (5-3) 110 Indiana Pacers (9-1) 92
The Chicago Bulls threw a knockout punch right back at the Indiana Pacers in their second encounter as the Pacers’ win streak stops at nine games. It was stopped dead in the tracks as the Pacers didn’t look right from the start of this one. The Bulls came out firing, and built up a 15-5 lead early in that first quarter. They had a lead by 33 points at one point, so even the 16 point loss doesn’t look good. The streak for keeping opponents under 100 points is done. Paul George’s 20 point games is done. Now the Pacers have to regroup, and get ready to go streaking again.
This was a game that the Bulls wanted to show that they’re still a team to contend with, and they nailed home that point last night. Derrick Rose went out and shot the ball as well as he’s going to, and finished with 20 points. Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls finished with 23 points to lead seven guys in double figures scoring.
The Pacers, known so much for defense, couldn’t stop anything last night as the Bulls shot 50% from the field and 57% from three point land. At one point, the Bulls had only missed one three point attempt. Any team shooting that well has the game in their favor. The Pacers, on the other hand, rushed shots and kept looking to score as many points as they could on one possession, which is never a good sign for a comeback. They end up hitting for 40% from the field, which is a good upgrade from the 30% it was sitting at for most of the game. Once, the Bulls put up 31 points in that first quarter, I got worried about this one.
Some good takeaways for the Pacers include Roy Hibbert with the double double effort of 14 points and 10 rebounds. Also, throw in his usual 3 blocks to continue that block party. Another good sign was Chris Copeland out there knocking down three’s. Copeland got plenty of opportunities last night as the Pacers were down by so much in that third quarter. Copeland went out and 3-4 from three point land. He ends up with 13 points in 17 minutes of action. The defense, while he is out there, is suspect, so he’ll have to improve on that end to earn this playing time. Paul George ends up at 13 points and hits that off night that guys will hit. Hopefully, he can bounce back from it with a strong effort come Wednesday against the New York Knicks. A game in Madison Square Garden, where another Pacers player used to do his magic. It would be great to see Paul George light it up that night to help the Pacers get back on that winning track.
That’s the best way to look at this game. The Pacers are 9-1 with the 3 game lead in their division. The Bulls get one back, but still having that lead in the division is important. Now the Pacers will have a few days before the battle in New York, and then a road game in Boston to get the wheels back on the track.