Game Rewind: Bulls 99, Pacers 86

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Ice-cold Pacers fall short against Bulls

By Conrad Brunner
Pacers.com

Based on the standings, this was a matchup of the two top teams in the Central Division.

Based on the result, it was a reminder for the Pacers of just how wide the gulf really is between them and the first-place Bulls.

With Derrick Rose carrying the offense with 29 points, and a defense that limited the Pacers to a 32.6 percent shooting overall and a staggering 23.4 percent in the second and third periods the Bulls controlled the game throughout on their way to a 99-86 victory before a sellout crowd of 18,165 Friday in Conseco Fieldhouse.

Danny Granger scored 22 for the Pacers but shot 8-of-23 from the field. Indiana is 0-2 against the Bulls this season, losing by a combined total of 32 points.

IMPACT

For the fourth time this season, the Pacers were unable to extend a winning streak to three games, instead falling to 16-21 overall, 10-10 at home. They also fell nine games behind the Bulls, who improved to 26-13 overall, 9-10 on the road. Chicago had lost three straight road games to sub-.500 teams but that streak came to an authoritative end.

QUOTEWORTHY

  • We dug a hole in the first half. We werent sharp at all. Derrick Rose made sure there wouldnt be a comeback. In the second half when hes going like hes going, it doesnt matter what you do on a pick and roll. Hes a terrific player." Pacers coach Jim O'Brien.
  • We came out sluggish and were not able to turn it up to the level that it should have been." Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough.
  • For some reason tonight the lid was on the basket. We missed lay-ups. We missed short jumpers. We just didnt hit shots," Pacers forward Paul George.
  • We were just ready tonight. We did a great job of focusing on what they do offensively. We made them take tough, contested shots." Bulls forward Carlos Boozer.

STAT OF THE GAME

In the second and third periods, the Pacers shot 11-of-47 from the field 23.4 percent. They were 5-of-22 on shots in the paint (22.7 percent).

TWEET(S) OF THE GAME

    Mine (@conrad_brunner): "As DRose converts a 4pt play, Bulls fans chanting M-V-P. Pacers fans responding with S-A-T. I love this game."
    Theirs (@austincroshere): "Pick and roll killing us!!! Switch, blitz, hard show??? Something, anything???"

HIGHLIGHTS

The Pacers started relatively well, jumping out to a 17-12 lead midway through the first quarter as Hansbrough and Boozer put on quite a show in the power forward matchup. But the Bulls got a big lift from their bench, specifically Taj Gibson, who had six in a row including consecutive dunks to spark an 11-2 run to that put the visitors up 28-22 and, as it turned out, they wouldn't trail again.

With an 8-2 surge, the Pacers cut the deficit to 35-33 early in the second quarter but that's where the bottom fell out of the offense. The Pacers missed 16 of 17 shots in a span of more than seven minutes while the Bulls put together an 18-4 run to build a 53-37 lead.

Granger scored five in a seven-point surge late in the third quarter that made it 70-61 but Rose answered with five of his own and the Bulls pushed the lead back to 81-63 early in the fourth.

With Granger finally finding the range, the Pacers had one more push, cutting it to 90-81, but Rose sparked a decisive 8-2 run with a pair of buckets and an assist as the Bulls put it away.

BY THE NUMBERS

With Granger hitting just 35 percent of his shots, the Pacers dropped to 3-15 when he fails to reach 40 percent in a game. He added six rebounds and three assists. Mike Dunleavy scored 13 and was the only starter to make at least half his shots (5-of-10, including 3-of-6 from the arc). Hansbrough was 4-of-9 for 12 points with three rebounds and two blocks. Darren Collison shot 4-of-16 and had 10 points, five assists and five rebounds. Jeff Foster had 15 rebounds off the bench. The Pacers shot a higher percentage on 3-point shots (.389) than inside the arc (.311).

Rise was 11-of-21 from the field, 3-of-6 from the arc for his 29 points, adding 10 rebounds and five assists. Dent scored 17 on 7-of-19 shooting, adding five assists and three blocks. Boozer scored 14 and Kurt Thomas pulled 18 rebounds. The Bulls shot .455 overall and were 7-of-20 (.350) from the arc.

NOTEWORTHY

  • Josh McRoberts, who had not played since being replaced by Hansbrough in the starting lineup, was the first player off the bench.
  • Foster moved ahead of Jermaine O'Neal into fifth place on the Pacers' all-time career rebounding list (4,944).
  • The Pacers' .326 field goal percentage was their second-lowest of the season.
  • The Bulls have now won five of their last six games with Indiana. Chicago leads the all-time series with Indiana, 83-72.
  • The Pacers committed just eight turnovers, tying their second lowest total of the season. The Pacers have had eight miscues in each of their last two games.
  • Including a difference of 24-19 tonight, the Pacers have shot more free throws than their opponent in two straight games, and just eight times all season. The Pacers are now 4-4 this season when attempting more free throws than their opponent.

UP NEXT

The Pacers open a four-game road trip with a special Martin Luther King Day afternoon tip Monday in Los Angeles against Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon and the Clippers (3:30 p.m., WIBC 93 FM). Please note, the game will not be televised locally.