Notebook: Pacers 80, Bulls 76

Posted Dec 5, 2012 8:19 AM

By Kent McDill, for

THE FACTS: Three days after going scoreless in 29 minutes against Golden State, Indiana forward Paul George scored 34 points to lead the visiting Indiana Pacers to an 80-76 taffy pull of a victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday. David West and Roy Hibbert added 10 points each for the Pacers. Nate Robinson came off the bench to lead the Bulls with 19 points. Carlos Boozer had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls.

THE FACTS II: The Pacers led by nine points late in the third quarter, but the Bulls fought back to take a 74-70 lead with 3:37 left in the game. The Pacers tightened up defensively and pulled out the victory.

QUOTABLE: "It's always fun to play (the Bulls). It's two great coaches going head to head and playing a chess game out there. It's just fun for me to find the wrinkles in their defense and take advantage."
-- George

THE STAT: Neither team managed to shoot 40 percent for the game -- Indiana was 29-for-80 (36.3 percent), Chicago was 28-for-73 (38.4 percent). But George was 14-for-25 after going 2-for-18 in his previous two games.

THE STAT II: The Bulls committed 19 turnovers to just 12 for the Pacers. The Pacers were credited with 10 steals and four blocked shots.

THE STAT III: Starting in place of injured guard Rip Hamilton, Marco Belinelli scored six points in 24 minutes of play.

TURNING POINT: With the Pacers ahead 78-76, Bulls forward Luol Deng drove the baseline from the right with six seconds remaining and ran into Indiana center Roy Hibbert. Although there was contact, no foul was called, and Indiana completed the victory.

INJURY UPDATE: Bulls guard Derrick Rose did some shooting on the United Center floor before fans were allowed to enter. Asked about Rose's condition before the game, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau tersely replied "Derrick is focused on his rehab. We are focused on improving. Derrick is fine."

INJURY UPDATE II: Hamilton has a torn plantar fascia in his left foot, suffered in the game against Philadelphia on Saturday. Return time has been estimated from one to three weeks.

HOT: It took George 90 seconds to get his first basket, then he scored 10 points in the first nine minutes of the game. He also had 11 points in the fourth quarter.

NOT: Indiana's Tyler Hansbrough continues to struggle, and missed all four of his shots Tuesday. He is 0-for-9 in his last two games.

QUOTABLE II: "In my eyes, he got wiped out. He had a layup. It was a train wreck. (But) I am not going to put it on the officials. A tough call went against us. We still have to get it done."
-- Thibodeau, talking about Deng's late drive to the basket

QUOTABLE III: "He is the best in the league in exercising verticality. That is what earns him the no-calls."
-- Indiana coach Frank Vogel, talking about Roy Hibbert's defense on the last play

GOOD MOVE: Needing offense to get back into the game, Thibodeau went with Nate Robinson at point guard rather than starter Kirk Hinrich. Robinson had 13 of his 19 points in the last 13 minutes of the game.

NOTABLE: The Pacers played 12 of their first 18 games on the road. They start a stretch of four home games out of the next five contests Wednesday. ... The Bulls have yet to win three games in a row this season. ... The Pacers outrebounded the Bulls on the offensive glass 16-13. ... George added three assists and two blocks.

UP NEXT: For the Bulls, Wednesday @ Cleveland, Friday @ Detroit, Saturday vs. New York. For the Pacers, Wednesday vs. Portland, Friday vs. Denver, Sunday @ Oklahoma City.