The Chicago Bulls appear to be slowly recovering from their dismal start. A win at Conseco Fieldhouse would be another big step in the right direction.
Chicago looks for its sixth win in eight games when it faces the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night in an arena where it typically struggles.
The Bulls (7-12) have won four of their last five overall meetings against the Pacers (10-11), including a 3-1 edge in last season's series.
They are just 2-16 in Indianapolis since the 1998-99 season, but one of those wins came in their most recent visit - a 92-90 victory on March 25. Ben Gordon made the game-winning basket with 2.8 seconds remaining and finished with 31 points.
Gordon also led the Bulls to victory Tuesday night, shooting 12-for-19 from the field and scoring 27 points in Chicago's 123-96 win over Seattle.
"I just wanted to get off to a good start," said Gordon, who had been limited to 13 points or fewer in each of his previous four games. "It seemed like we had been playing inconsistent basketball for a pretty long time. Hopefully, we can just maintain this."
The victory improved the Bulls to 5-2 after opening 2007-08 with 10 losses in 12 games. Chicago is just 3-7 on the road this season, but will be looking for its third consecutive win away from home.
Gordon has played well recently versus the Pacers, averaging 22.2 points in his last five games against them.
While Chicago has struggled at Conseco Fieldhouse ever since Michael Jordan left the team, the Pacers have played poorly at home recently. They have dropped six of their last eight games there to fall to 4-6 on the season on their home court.
Indiana looks for better luck at Conseco after splitting a two-game road trip. The Pacers defeated Orlando 115-109 on Friday, then fell 118-105 to Cleveland on Tuesday night.
They have alternated between wins and losses over their last six games.
"I don't believe in the carryover," said Indiana's Mike Dunleavy, who scored a team-high 23 points Tuesday. "I don't think if you have a bad game you let it carry over, if you have a good game you let it carry over. Each game is a new game in the NBA, and you've got to go out there and execute and do what we've been coached to do."
The Pacers are having problems executing on defense these days. Indiana has scored an average of 109.5 points over its last four games, but that impressive figure has been negated by an average of 110.8 points allowed during that span.
In Tuesday's loss, Cleveland had 65 points by halftime.
"Obviously, we were not pleased with our defensive effort," Dunleavy said. "From the start, we just gave them too many looks and we didn't contest enough shots. They pretty much had their way. It definitely makes it tough to beat a team like that."
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