KIRK HINRICH
Chicago's talented point guard had his best game in an erratic season, racking up a career-high 38 points on 14-of-21 shooting, including 4-of-5 from the 3-point line, adding 10 assists and seven rebounds.
JIM O'BRIEN
"I don't think we had the consistency of movement that we wanted. They had something to do with that. They played a very aggressive brand of defensive basketball and we just never got it going. We got close, we just couldn't finish the job."
  • Points in the paint: Bulls 44, Pacers 24
  • Fast-break points: Bulls 12, Pacers 7
  • Second-chance points: Pacers 17, Bulls 11
  • Points off turnovers: Bulls 23, Pacers 17
  • Starters scoring: Bulls 85, Pacers 70
  • Bench scoring: Pacers 25, Bulls 23
  • The magic number in this game was 100. The Pacers fell to 3-12 in games when they fail to reach triple digits, and the Bulls remained 0-17 when they allow 100 or more.
    The Pacers travel to Milwaukee for the first meeting of the season against Michael Redd and the Bucks Thursday (8 p.m., FSN-Indiana, WFNI-AM 1070).
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  • CHICAGO 108, INDIANA 95
    Hot Hinrich too much for Pacers

    At Chicago | Jan. 23, 2008


    A Chicago team struggling for offense, playing without its two leading scorers, turned to its last option. Against an increasingly defenseless Indiana team, Kirk Hinrich delivered in a big way.

    Perhaps shaking out of what has been his worst overall season with one of his best games, Hinrich racked up a career-high 38 points, 12 in the fourth quarter as the Bulls pulled away for a 108-95 victory Wednesday in the United Center.

    The Pacers (19-24) dug an early hole by yielding a 17-point run to the Bulls (17-24) in the second quarter. Indiana cut the deficit to 79-77 early in the fourth quarter but Hinrich took over, scoring 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting and adding five assists in the final 9½ minutes as the Bulls stretched out the lead.

    "We took some early challenged shots and challenged shots are not what we wanted," said Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien. "I don't think we had the consistency of movement that we wanted. They had something to do with that. They played a very aggressive brand of defensive basketball and we just never got it going. We got close, we just couldn't finish the job."

    The Pacers wasted a career-high 33-point night from Danny Granger, who made 11-of-18 shots, including 4-of-7 from the 3-point line, and contributed seven rebounds, four assists and two steals. But Granger had precious little support. Mike Dunleavy had a 2-of-12 shooting nightmare, Kareem Rush managed just five points after the first quarter, Jamaal Tinsley continued his passive approach to scoring by attempting just four shots and the bench offered little change of pace.

    Indiana was shorthanded in the frontcourt, missing Troy Murphy and Jermaine O'Neal, both with sore left knees. Jeff Foster started at center in the small lineup and had a respectable 12-point, 11-rebound game.

    Averaging career lows in points (11.3), assists (6.0) and 3-point percentage (.298) entering the game, Hinrich made 14-of-21 shots, including 4-of-5 from the 3-point line, and added 10 assists, seven rebounds and two steals. Andres Nocioni moved into Deng's starting spot and also came up big, scoring 24 points with seven rebounds.

    But Hinrich was the difference-maker.

    Trailing by 14 at halftime, the Pacers came out quickly in the third quarter as Granger scored eight in a 13-4 run that cut the gap to 61-56. But Hinrich, who scored 27 points on 10-of-12 shooting in the second half, outscored the Pacers 9-3 to push the Chicago lead back to 70-59. The Pacers then began chipping into the deficit once again with an 18-9 run, with seven of the points coming from Travis Diener, but Hinrich again stepped forward to quell the threat.

    Noteworthy


  • Murphy banged his left knee in the first half of the Pacers' victory in Philadelphia Monday afternoon and sat out the second half of that game as well as Wednesday night's game with the Bulls.
  • The Pacers dropped to 6-4 in games O'Neal has missed.
  • The Bulls announced before the game Deng would miss 1-3 weeks to allow his left Achilles tendinitis to fully heal.
  • Gordon was a late scratch due to a sprained wrist.
  • With Chris Duhon (left knee sprain) also out, the Bulls were missing three of their top perimeter players.
  • Chicago rookie Joakim Noah had a career-high 15 rebounds to go with 14 points.