BRANDON RUSH
Rookie continued his late-season surge with a career-high 29 points on 13-of-19 shooting, including 2-of-4 from the 3-point line, adding four rebounds, two assists, a steal and a blocked shot.
Name Min. +/- Name Min. +/-
Maceo Baston 2:26 -6 Marquis Daniels DNP ---
Travis Diener DNP --- Mike Dunleavy DNP ---
T.J. Ford 33:30 -3 Jeff Foster 41:25 +11
Stephen Graham 4:41 0 Danny Granger 41:05 -3
Roy Hibbert 19:54 -2 Jarrett Jack 40:46 0
Josh McRoberts DNP --- Troy Murphy DNP ---
Rasho Nesterovic 17:03 -8 Brandon Rush 39:10 -19
  • Points in the paint: Pacers 50, Bulls 38
  • Fast-break points: Bulls 24, Pacers 17
  • Second-chance points: Pacers 17, Bulls 9
  • Points off turnovers: Bulls 17, Pacers 12
  • Starters scoring: Bulls 89, Pacers 84
  • Bench scoring: Bulls 23, Pacers 22
  • This was the Pacers' 15th loss of the season in a game in which they led by at least 10 points, the most in the NBA. Indiana was up 35-21 after the first quarter and 37-27 early in the second.
  • The Pacers (30-43) had a two-game losing streak snapped and fell 5.5 games behind the Bulls.
  • With Rush and Granger combining for 29, the Pacers built a 35-21 lead after one quarter but the Bulls opened the second with a 21-4 run to take a 42-39 lead. The game remained closed the rest of the way.
  • The Pacers used a 13-2 run early in the fourth to take a 97-96 lead and were ahead 102-99 with 3:22 left but John Salmons hit consecutive 3-pointers and the Bulls outscored the Pacers 13-4 down the stretch.
  • Indiana was without Troy Murphy (sprained L knee) for the second game in a row and Marquis Daniels (sprained R wrist) for the fourth straight game.
  • Chicago welcomed rookie Derrick Rose back to the starting lineup. He had missed one game and come off the bench in the most recent due to a sprained right wrist.
  • Granger finished with 32 points but shot just 3-of-11 in the second half.
  • T.J. Ford scored eight of his 14 in the fourth quarter and added seven reobunds and six assists.
  • Jarrett Jack had 10 points, nine assists and two steals.
  • Jeff Foster started for Murphy and tied his career high with 18 rebounds.
  • Ben Gordon scored 25, Salmons 22, Tyrus Thomas 18, Brad Miller 17 and Rose 16 for the Bulls (36-38), who won their fourth in a row and seventh in eight games.
  • Chicago is 10-1 at home since the All-Star break.
  • The Pacers return home for the second game of a back-to-back set Sunday against the Washington Wizards (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, 1070 The Fan).
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  • March 28, 2009 at Chicago
    Bulls 112, Pacers 106


    PACERS COACH JIM O'BRIEN
    “I thought we played great defense in the 4th quarter coming back from 10 down to tie it up. They we played a great possession and had Johnny Salmons hit one at the shot clock buzzer. That was really the difference in the game. I thought our guys really competed. It was a very hard fought game on both teams part. Tyrus Thomas, with 7 blocked shots, had a major impact on the game down the stretch. We did everything we could, we just came up short.”

    (On Granger's shot at the end:) “Whatever he could get, if the 3 was open, great. He drove the basketball, thought he had a lay-up, Thomas blocked it.”

    (On Brandon Rush:) “He was great. Brandon has been playing with a lot of confidence. We hope this uptick that he is on, that he never looks back and continues to grow his game. He played really well, like the lottery pick that he is. He played both ends of the court. He's played consistently well defensively for us this year, but seems to get too concerned about when his shots aren't falling. That's something that he's outgrowing. He had a brilliant game. He was terrific.”

    (On the Bulls trade:) “I thought the trade that the Bulls orchestrated to get Brad Miller and John Salmons was the best trade of the year. My hat is off to John Paxson. They got Miller, who can space the court on pick-and-rolls and he's a good passer. Johnny Salmons, I had him in Philadelphia and he's playing great basketball. He hits big shots. He hit two three pointers at the shot clock buzzer. Over the last 10 games, he's there leading scorer. That trade, for what they gave up, was just fantastic.”

    (On John Salmons:) “I liked John a lot in Philadelphia, but he has grown his game and confidence magnificently over the last several years. Certainly, he had a great couple of years scoring-wise in Sacramento but now he's on a playoff team and he's shown he's a starter in this league and can do some big things. I'm happy for him. He's a good kid.”


    PACERS GUARD BRANDON RUSH
    (On his first quarter performance) “My teammates were finding me, I was making some shots, and I was taking it to the hole. It allowed me to play my time of game.”

    (On defending John Salmons) “Salmons definitely hit some big shots. I was able to get my hand up and in his face but he definitely knocked down some tough shots.”


    PACERS FORWARD DANNY GRANGER
    (On Tyrus Thomas's block on his layup late in the game) “I beat the first guy but he made a great play. That was pretty much the game. I knew I had to get it up there quickly but he just made a great play. He's a good defensive player. Obviously he's a great athlete and he can create a lot of havoc out there.”
    PACERS GUARD T.J. FORD
    (On Tyrus Thomas) “He blocks shots, he rebounds, and when he gets open looks he makes shots. He's definitely improved.”

    (On finishing out the season) “We just want to come out and continue to play as hard as we can. We are still going to work and compete because we still have a lot of fans out there who continue to support us. This isn't the time you just stop playing.”


    BULLS COACH VINNY DEL NEGRO
    “Another good home win for us. I thought we were a little sluggish in the 1st half. Give Indiana credit, they came out attacking us. We did not handle some of their pick and rolls and schemes very well. In the 2nd half, we picked it up and I liked our energy. Kirk came in and gave us another boost as well as Brad, which is a real positive. We talked about some things at halftime and we had a nice push in the 3rd quarter. We had some turnovers and let Indiana back in it. I liked our play down the stretch.”

    (On Salmons hitting two 3 point shots at the end:) “That was big. He has been playing well for us. When he is out there with Ben, other teams have to watch the perimeter. John stepped up and made some big 3's and I thought it was a good team effort. We had 23 assists, but we turned it over a little too much in the 1st half. We got a little better control of it in the 12nd half. Indiana plays us tough. They keep coming at us. Granger is a tough cover. TJ Ford gives a lot of teams trouble with his penetration and Jeff Foster was big on the glass tonight. Their offensive rebounds hurt us. It is all about finding ways to win and we have been doing that. We were sluggish in the 1st half but I thought we came out with a little better demeanor in the 2 nd half.”

    (On defense by Tyrus Thomas) “Danny Granger is a tough cover but Tyrus Thomas has the athleticism to block some shots. He got 7 tonight including the big block at the end of the game. With his athleticism, he can change the game. His patience on the court the last couple of weeks has been really good. He's been running the court a little bit better. When he is around the rim using his athleticism, good things usually happen. It was a team effort. Everyone has to step up.”

    (Can you talk about playing well at the end of the year) “It is important for confidence and understanding what it takes to win. Good teams step up. We need to know what we are good at and what we are not. When I played on really good teams, guys knew their roles. We have to get to that. We are moving in that direction. Guys have to take responsibility and if they have tough games, it makes you sick to your stomach and it feels like you let your buddies down. Everyone has to go and do their job. You have to respect every team you play. I've said it for a while, I like our demeanor and our approach. When you bring energy, the rest of the things usually take care of themselves.”


    BULLS FORWARD TYRUS THOMAS
    (On Bulls playing their best basketball right now:) “Hopefully we cannot stay at this level but will take it to a higher level. We need to play consistent.”

    (On his blocks) “Some of them get the crowd going, some of them gave us another possession and some took Indiana out of their flow. We are playing good but I don't think we are playing at our best. We can be more active. We just have to come out to a fast start, play hard and then good things will happen.”


    BULLS GUARD BEN GORDON
    (On the win) “We did a good job of keeping our poise even when they made their runs. We weathered the storm and kept going and got a big win.”

    (On other guys taking big shots) “It's a lot of fun being out there with other guys who are making big plays and are taking the tough shots. It's always fun when you are playing good basketball and you are winning.”