Post-Game Grades: Indiana Pacers grab the Chicago Bulls by the horns


Myles Turner sealed the Indiana Pacers victory over the Chicago Bulls win a game-saving block.

A year ago, Victor Oladipo hit a game-winner over the Chicago Bulls. Tonight, Myles Turner gave the Indiana Pacers a game-saving block to deserve the Pacers lead in an uncomfortably close win.

Domantas Sabonis’ perfect game in New York earlier in the week fueled the fires of calling for Turner’s head in some parts of the Pacers fan base, but an 18 point, 6 block, 3 rebound, and 3 assist performance helped soften those calls.

An ugly start to the game kept the Bulls within striking distance the entire night as Indiana wasted a good deal of energy erasing an 18-point deficit, but ultimately they didn’t let mistakes — like Darren Collison fouling Antonio Blakeney on a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left — define the game’s final outcome.

100. Final. 105. 24. 107

The Good: The Bulls only blocked one more shot than Myles Turner on Friday, and none were as important than Turner’s final one.

The Bad: The first quarter was highlighted by both Indiana’s starters and bench playing poorly while Chicago shot over 60 percent from the field. Credit, however, is due to Indiana’s bench for stopping the bleeding once the second quarter began.

But the 18-point hole Indiana dug turned another road-game against an overmatched opponent into a slug-fest that required late-game dramatics in an effort to preserve the victory.

MVP: Victor Oladipo’s 14 rebounds were a game-high, as well as his 25 points. Timely 3-pointers aren’t bad either.

X-Factor: The bench played a huge role in both the comeback and the eventual win. A 26-8 run wouldn’t have been possible had they not first stopped the bleeding.

Sabonis didn’t make any shots, but the fouls he drew broke up Chicago’s rhythm while Tyreke Evans dropped in 9 points as Indiana fought back.

After the bench, as a unit, being a liability in the past few games, it was a much-needed effort and a key in the Pacers win.

B. <a href=. PG. Indiana Pacers. DARREN COLLISON

VICTOR OLADIPO. -B. Like Collison, Oladipo shot poorly, but Victor’s overall production on the night mattered more than his field goal percentage.. SG. Indiana Pacers

SF. Indiana Pacers. BOJAN BOGDANOVIC. C+. A quiet night with 8 points, but he did hit 2 of his 3 shots from distance on a night where he was shooting poorly inside of the arc.

PF. Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG. B-. 8 points and 9 rebounds while doing is normal assortment of Thad Things.

Blocks on blocks on blocks on blocks on blocks on blocks.. C. Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER. B

DOMANTAS SABONIS. B-. 1 of 4 from the field ain’t good, but 7 of 8 from the line makes up for it. 9 points, 3 rebounds, an assist, steal, and block.. C. Indiana Pacers

TYREKE EVANS. B-. Good bounce back game for Tyreke Evans with 13 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds. He kept on the attack and kept the Pacers in the game when things got ugly early.. SG. Indiana Pacers

Indiana Pacers. CORY JOSEPH. B+. 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists don’t do justice to his impact, mainly because most of them are on defense.. PG

SF. Indiana Pacers. DOUG MCDERMOTT. B. The Pacers passed the ball to Doug McDermott and he rewarded them with a 2 of 4 performance from deep, as well as a pair of assists.

INC.. T.J. Leaf finally got a basket on the season after injuries and limited chances kept him off the court. Just good to see him back and making a small contribution.. PF. Indiana Pacers. TJ LEAF

Next. Road Warriors: The end is near for Pacers travel. dark

The Pacers play the Boston Celtics on Saturday at 7 p.m.