Notebook: Pacers 111, Bulls 101



Posted Feb 4, 2013 10:40 PM

Conrad Brunner for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Two of the league's best defensive units staged an improbable shootout Monday, ultimately determined by the team that brought the most weapons. David West scored 29, George Hill 22 and Paul George 21 as Indiana built a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, saw it shrink to four and then held on for a 111-101 victory over the Bulls before a sellout crowd of 18,165 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pacers (29-19) moved into a first-place tie with the Bulls (29-19) in the Central Division and took a 2-0 lead in the season series with two meetings remaining. Marco Belinelli played most of the game on a sprained ankle but led the Bulls with 24 points off the bench, while Nate Robinson scored 19 with nine assists and three steals. Indiana won its 14th consecutive home game. The franchise record is 25 set in the 1999-00 season.

QUOTABLE: "We're chasing them so we just approached this game knowing how well they are coached and how well they play. They're just a tough team and we knew we'd have to bring our best effort."
-- West.

THE STAT: Indiana's win snapped Chicago's streak of 41 consecutive wins when scoring at least 100 points, which tied the longest in NBA history.

TURNING POINT: The Pacers used a 15-4 third-quarter run to open a 79-67 lead, and pushed it to 90-76 early in the fourth quarter. But Belinelli heated up in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 points in an 18-8 run that cut the lead to 98-94 with 1:59 remaining. But George hit a huge 3-pointer to make it a seven-point game with 1:18 remaining and after Luol Deng missed a jumper on the other end, the Pacers closed it out at the free throw line.

QUOTABLE II: "We knew that they were capable of regardless of who was out, who was playing or who was on their reserve list."
-- Hill.

HOT: West totaled 59 points in consecutive victories over the Heat and Hills, hitting 23 of 33 shots (.697). ... Hill hit 7 of 10 shots, including 3 of 5 from the 3-point line, and added six assists. ... Belinelli shot 9 of 13, including 8 of 11 in the second half.

NOT: Deng scored six in the first quarter but was 1 of 10 the rest of the way, finishing 4 of 18 from the field. ... Roy Hibbert missed eight of his final nine shots and finished 3 of 11.

QUOTABLE III: "I thought we contested a lot of shots. They had a lot of guys hot. They hit tough shots."
-- Chicago's Taj Gibson.

NOTABLE: Chicago forward Carlos Boozer returned after missing three games with a hamstring injury and scored 10 points with five rebounds in 23 minutes, hitting 4 of 12 shots. He did not play in the fourth quarter as Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau went with a small lineup with Jimmy Butler and Deng as the forwards. ... Indiana's point total represented a season-high for a regulation game. The Pacers' season high of 115 was set in an overtime victory against New Orleans on Nov. 21. Indiana has topped 100 points 11 times this season, but four times in the last five games. ... Indiana had held 15 straight opponents to 95 points or less at home, but that streak came to an end. ... Belinelli sprained his right ankle landing on Orlando Johnson's foot after a 3-pointer in the first quarter, but returned to the game in the second quarter with an obvious limp. ... Indiana reached 60 points in the first half for the first time this season. It also was the first time the Bulls yielded that many in the first half. ... The Pacers had 23 assists, their fifth straight game with at least 20. ... The game originally was scheduled for Dec. 26 but was postponed by a blizzard in Indianapolis. As a result of the rescheduling, the Pacers have the only three-game, three-night set in the NBA this season. It's less of an inconvenience for the Bulls, who have two nights off before their next game Thursday in Denver. Joakim Noah (right foot) and Kirk Hinrich (right elbow) both missed their third in a row for the Bulls. Robinson started for Hinrich and Gibson for Noah.

NEXT: For the Pacers, Tuesday vs. Atlanta, Wednesday @ Philadelphia, Friday vs. Toronto. For the Bulls, Thursday @ Nuggets, Friday @ Jazz, Monday vs. Spurs.