KAREEM RUSH
Broke out of a long shooting slump with 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-6 from the 3-point line, as the Pacers outscored the Bulls by 24 points in his 30 minutes in the floor.
JIM O'BRIEN
"Really, from the altercation with Murph (Troy Murphy) and Tyrus Thomas on, our guys played with an unbelievable amount of passion and beat a very good basketball team. We got a lot of contributions from a lot of people."
  • Points in the paint: Pacers 34, Bulls 32
  • Fast-break points: Pacers 16, Bulls 7
  • Second-chance points: Bulls 15, Pacers 9
  • Points off turnovers: Bulls 23, Pacers 17
  • Starters scoring: Pacers 70, Bulls 60
  • Bench scoring: Pacers 47, Bulls 42
  • Kareem Rush's 22 points in 30 minutes equaled the scoring output of his previous 10 games combined.
    The Pacers' brief homestand concludes Friday against Chris Bosh and the Toronto Raptors (7 p.m., FSN-Indiana, WIBC 1070-AM).
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  • Postgame press conference
  • Pacers plus-minus rankings
  • Game info
  • INDIANA 117, CHICAGO 102
    Rush breaks out, bounces Bulls

    By Conrad Brunner | Dec. 12, 2007


    Certain things are inevitable. Death. Taxes. Kareem Rush's jumper.

    It just took a little longer than expected – OK, a lot longer – for that final inevitability to unfold.

    With Rush breaking out of a long shooting slump by scoring 22 points, 16 in the second half, the Pacers recovered from a dangerously slow start to rout the visiting Bulls 117-102 before 10,381 in Conseco Fieldhouse Wednesday night.

    "As a shooter, you’ve got to get rhythm and you’ve got to hit big-time shots," said Rush, who had shot 13-of-54 (.241) overall and 4-of-21 (.190) from the 3-point line in his previous 13 games. "My shots were falling tonight and I think this will give me the rhythm that I need."

    Rush was one of several major contributors to a balanced offense. Jermaine O'Neal, Jamaal Tinsley and Marquis Daniels scored 18 points apiece. O'Neal added nine rebounds, Tinsley eight assists and three steals and Daniels made 8-of-10 shots. Mike Dunleavy scored 15 of his 17 in the second half, adding nine rebounds and six assists. The Pacers shot 55.7 percent and were 11-of-24 (.458) from the 3-point line.

    "With the effort that we had tonight, we can continue to win," Rush said. "We have a long way to go yet, but we are headed in the right direction. Some nights you put in a lot of effort with a few results. Tonight we got the effort with the results."

    The Pacers (11-11) trailed by 16 early in the second quarter but outscored the Bulls 95-64 the rest of the way.

    “The energy level was a little low in the first quarter," Rush said, "but guys came off the bench and gave big-time effort."

    An altercation between Pacers center Troy Murphy and Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas late in the second quarter resulted in the ejection of both players and seemed to spark the Pacers, who put together an eight-point run and took a 53-52 lead into the half after trailing much of the way.

    "Really, from the altercation with Murph (Troy Murphy) and Tyrus Thomas on, our guys played with an unbelievable amount of passion and beat a very good basketball team," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "We got a lot of contributions from a lot of people."

    O'Brien made a gem of a strategic move by starting Daniels and Rush in the second half in place of Dunleavy and Danny Granger, who had combined for four points on 2-of-7 shooting in the first half. The Pacers seized control out of the break with a 15-2 run that included 3-pointers from Rush, Tinsley and Shawne Williams to take a 71-60 lead. Dunleavy came off the bench hot and scored 12 in the closing minutes of the period as the margin grew to 93-77 entering the fourth.

    “We played hard, very hard," said Tinsley. "You have to, to beat a team of this caliber."

    The Bulls closed to 96-85 early in the fourth quarter but Rush converted a three-point play in transition, then pulled up for a 3-pointer that made it 103-85. He punctuated the rout with another fast-break basket and a 3-pointer that pushed the lead to 115-94.

    "Kareem Rush was just great," said O'Brien. "We were waiting for him to have a breakout game. This will be great for his confidence. Everyone knows he can really shoot."

    The Bulls (7-13) were led by Ben Gordon's 18 points, but he shot 7-of-21. Joe Smith scored 16 and Luol Deng 15.


    NOTEWORTHY
  • With Jeff Foster out and David Harrison hurting, Courtney Sims re-re-signed with the team Wednesday afternoon. The 6-11 center from Michigan was waived in the last cut of training camp on Oct. 25, re-signed on Oct. 29 and was waived again on Dec. 4. "We need bodies, not only potentially in games but we have not been able to practice," said O'Brien. "The last two or three practices, we had Murph and Jeff, period, at the big-people spots. That probably has something to do with the reason Jeff is on the shelf right now. In order to be a good basketball team you need practice time and if you don't have enough players to practice then it becomes like a 6-foot-and-under league, and we don't play that."
  • Foster missed his second game in a row with back spasms. Harrison was in uniform but limited due to a sore lower back. Murphy started his second straight game at center.
  • It also was a productive night for public address announcer Reb Porter, who revealed two new calls, "the lone Granger," on his first bucket and "Quizee for threezee" on a Daniels 3-pointer.