Indiana 117, Chicago 102

INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 12 (AP) -- The Pacers were led by reserve Kareem Rush in their 117-102 win over the Bulls. He scored a season-high 22 points on 9-for-13 shooting. He played 30 minutes, the most since he joined the Pacers this season. He had been averaging 3.2 points per game on 31 percent shooting.

"It has been tough, because I expect a lot out of myself,'' he said. "It's been kind of frustrating the first 20 games not playing well, but hopefully tonight is a stepping stone for me to continue to push through.''

The effort was something the Pacers had been waiting for.

"We know what Kareem can do,'' Jermaine O'Neal said. "He's a very talented guy. He's hit us up quite a few times when he was out in Charlotte. We know it's just about opportunity. Tonight, he came and really looked like he had been in the rotation pretty much all season.''

Jamaal Tinsley added 18 points and eight assists for Indiana.The Pacers rallied from a 15-point second half deficit to beat Orlando 115-109 last Friday night.

Tinsley said the Pacers believe in themselves and Jim O'Brien's system.

"We didn't hang our heads,'' he said. "We just came out there and competed and played hard.''

O'Neal has 18 points, nine rebounds and four blocks and Marquis Daniels added 18 points and seven rebounds for Indiana.

Ben Gordon led Chicago with 18 points, but he shot just 7-for-21 from the field. Joe Smith scored 16 points and Luol Deng added 15 for the Bulls.

The Bulls entered the game ranked eighth in the league in scoring defense, but they allowed their highest point total of the season.

"We didn't have enough energy to get the stops when we needed them,'' Gordon said. "I guess we got what we put in tonight.''

The Bulls struggled to keep up with the Pacers, who shot 56 percent from the field.

"We were feeling pretty good, but they did a good job of running the floor and pushing the ball,'' Deng said. "We didn't do a good job of running back on defense, and they made us pay.''

Indiana's reserves scored 47 points.

"We just had a hard time matching up,'' Gordon said. "Our defense has been OK all year, but tonight it wasn't there.''

Notes: Indiana C Jeff Foster sat out with back spasms. ... The attendance of 10,381 was the second-lowest total of the season for the Pacers. ... Indiana Fever coach Lin Dunn attended the game after being announced as the new coach earlier in the day. ... Indiana scored 100 or more points for the fifth straight game.


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