What started as a slugfest turned into one of the more thrilling finishes of the season for the Indiana Pacers but they struggled to rebound and finish in overtime, ultimately dropping the game 120-112.
Chicago hit multiple big shots in the extra period, and former Pacer Thaddeus Young hurt the blue-and-gold throughout overtime on the glass. Zach LaVine had 30 points and hit a massive three in regulation to give Chicago a 104-103 lead, but missed a free throw late, giving Malcolm Brogdon a chance to send the game to OT.
The Indiana Pacers couldn’t quite close things out on Monday.
Indiana dropped to 2-1 in overtime games on the season and failed to build on two consecutive wins over Detroit and Atlanta.
The two teams traded shots for the final minutes of regulation with Domantas Sabonis scoring four consecutive points and letting the Pacers grab a short-lived 103-101 lead until Lavine’s three.
Sabonis and Myles Turner, who had blocked five shots at the time, both dealt with foul trouble in the fourth and in OT and played the final minutes with five fouls. Turner was assessed his fifth foul after a challenge from Nate Bjorkgren went sideways, and fouled out late in overtime.
The Pacers battled back from an 11-point deficit early in the fourth and gained their first lead of the period at the five-minute mark, and looked to be seizing momentum after a rough third quarter.
Indiana and Chicago traded slow-motion punches throughout the third period and the Bulls kept the Pacers at arms distance despite not being able to grow the lead beyond nine.
Neither team shot well and most of the Pacers’ rotation players shot below 50%. T.J. McConnell in his first start of the season had a good game from the field, shooting 8-9 from the field for 19 points.
The first half was a struggle for both sides, and turnovers reigned supreme, with Indiana finishing with more turnovers than assists.
Chicago dominated in second-chance points and bench points for much of the game, with Young and Tomas Satoransky, in particular, providing a punch off the bench. The Pacers’ bench struggled for most of the night, missing McConnell’s energy and relying heavily on Aaron Holiday and Jeremy Lamb.