Player grades from the Pacers’ big comeback win over the Bulls

Aaron Nesmith, DeMar DeRozan, Indiana Pacers - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Aaron Nesmith, DeMar DeRozan, Indiana Pacers - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Heading home to the Gainbridge Fieldhouse bannering a seven-game losing streak, another slow start seemed poised to give the Indiana Pacers another woeful defeat at the hands of the Chicago Bulls. However, the protagonists never wavered in this one, eventually storming back from a 21-point deficit to win the game and put the team back into the winning column.

Effort was the theme for the Pacers in this one, as they chipped at the Bulls’ lead slowly before mounting a surreal, defense-charged comeback in the fourth quarter. Clutch plays from both ends of the court sealed the deal for Indiana as they now climb to 24-25 for the season.

Let’s zoom in on how each player fared for the Blue and Gold in this big comeback win.

Player grades from the Indiana Pacers big comeback win over the Chicago Bulls

The MVPs

Player of the Game: TJ McConnell

TJ MCCONNELL. A+. With the Pacers missing Tyrese Haliburton and Andrew Nembhard, TJ McConnell logged a season-high 40 minutes, and boy was his presence felt for every second. Continuing his inspiring play since Haliburton’s injury, the pesky guard logged a 20-point, 10-assist double-double, converting on nine of his 14 field goal attempts, including his lone three-point attempt. His defense on Zach LaVine was also particularly impressive all night, helping limit the All-Star to just 14 points.. PG. Indiana Pacers

Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER. A. Myles continued his strong showing against Chicago, co-spearheading the scoring department for the Pacers with 26 points on an efficient shooting night, going 11-21 from the field. Nikola Vucevic outsmarted him a bunch of times in the first half, but Turner’s defense prevailed in the second half, eventually anchoring the hosts to a dub.. C

A. Our favorite rookie had a wonderful game, ’cause of course! Mathurin turned in 26 very important points against the Bulls off the bench, a massive performance for an ailing Pacers team struck by another slow start. His personal 5-0 run in the last minute was perhaps the biggest run in the game, as it effectively sent Chicago packing. Keep it up, our Rookie of the Year!. SG. Indiana Pacers. BENNEDICT MATHURIN