JERMAINE O'NEAL
He scored 39 points, the most by any Pacers player this season, 16 in the fourth quarter alone. He added 14 rebounds while shooting 15-of-24 from the field.
RICK CARLISLE
"Games don’t get any tighter than that. We knew it'd probably come down to the end. They made a great shot and we were unable to convert. (Ben) Gordon's as good a go-to guy as there is in this league right now at his position. … I can't imagine anybody playing him any better than Mike (Dunleavy) did on that last play but he fell back, got an angle, got it up on the rim and got it in. Great players make great plays."
Points in the Paint:
Bulls 32, Pacers 20
Fast-break points:
Bulls 12, Pacers 8
2nd-chance points:
Bulls 20, Pacers 15
Points off turnovers:
Bulls 22, Pacers 14
Starters scoring:
Pacers 75, Bulls 69
Bench scoring:
Bulls 23, Pacers 15
Jermaine O'Neal and Mike Dunleavy combined for 62 points on 24-of-39 shooting (61.5 percent). The rest of the Pacers combined to score 28 points on 8-of-37 shooting (21.6 percent).
The homestand concludes Tuesday against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers (7 p.m., FSN-Indiana).
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  • CHICAGO 92, INDIANA 90
    Gordon's Shot Spoils O'Neal's Big Game

    By Conrad Brunner | March 25, 2007


    Every once in awhile, this five-on-five game boils down to a one-on-one showdown between two premier players.

    In this case, it was seven-on-seven.

    Indiana's No. 7, Jermaine O'Neal, scored his team's final 14 points on his way to a season-high 39. But Chicago's No. 7, Ben Gordon, scored 31 including the game-winner as the Bulls pulled out a tough 92-90 victory over the Pacers Sunday in Conseco Fieldhouse.

    After Chicago took an 83-76 lead midway through the fourth, O'Neal took over, scoring all of the Pacers' points for a 5-minute span including a three-point play that gave them an 88-87 lead and a turnaround jumper over Malik Allen that tied it at 90-all with 1:02 remaining.

    Both teams came up empty on their next possessions, the Pacers because Chicago's defense effectively kept the ball away from O'Neal, so Jamaal Tinsley wound up missing in the lane with 14.2 seconds left. The Bulls put the ball in Gordon's hands and he drove into the lane stopped on a dime and hit a tough turnaround fadeaway with defender Mike Dunleavy's hand in his face with 2.8 seconds left.

    With the last shot, the Pacers set up an inbounds play for O'Neal, but he missed a hurried 19-foot jumper from the left wing as time expired.

    The Pacers (31-38) had a two-game home winning streak snapped but remained ninth in the East, one-half game behind New Jersey and Orlando (tied for seventh at 32-38) and one game ahead of 10th-place New York (30-39).

    Chicago (41-30) won for just the second time in 18 trips to Indianapolis and improved to 15-21 on the road.


    PLUSES

    The Pacers battled throughout with Dunleavy feeling the early hot hand, scoring 21 of his 23 in the third three periods. He shot 9-of-15 from the field and had seven rebounds, five assists and a blocked shot. O'Neal took over in the second half, scoring 24 points of his 39. He wound up making 15-of-24 from the field, 9-of-12 from the line and pulled 14 rebounds. The defense was generally solid, holding the Bulls to 40 percent shooting.
    MINUSES
    Gordon is the rare player that can simply defy good defense and he did so time and again on his way to a 13-of-25 shooting night. In addition to his 31 points, he had five assists and two steals. Luol Deng (14 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks) and Kirk Hinrich (14 points, five assists, five rebounds) were effective only in spurts.
    MOMENTS
    The Pacers made the first big move with a 13-2 run in the second quarter that resulted in a 48-40 lead. They appeared to be seizing control in the third with runs of eight points to start the half and seven more later in the period to stretch the advantage to 69-58.

    But Chicago responded with a 25-7 run, holding the Pacers to just three baskets in a nine-minute span while Gordon scored nine, and the visitors forced an 83-76 advantage with 6:33 remaining. That's when O'Neal got hot, outscoring the Bulls 14-7 in the next five minutes to set up the dramatic finish.


    TIDBITS
  • Coach Rick Carlisle picked up an unusual technical foul for protesting a call that the officials ultimately changed. He reacted and was whistled after no travel was called on Luol Deng on a fast-break shot. After the officials conferred, they ruled Deng did indeed travel but the technical stood.
  • Jamal Tinsley also was whistled for a technical foul in the second quarter, shortly after Bulls Coach Scott Skiles was T'd up.
  • Marquis Daniels missed his 12th straight game with a sore left knee.
  • The Pacers have lost six of seven games played on Sunday.