Player of the Game
Little-used reserve played a season-high 28 minutes and produced nine points, three rebounds, two blocks a steal and two monster dunks in an energetic and encouraging performance.
Name Game Season
Diener DNP ---
Dunleavy -14 -55
Ford -18 -180
Foster DNP -9
Granger DNP -58
Hansbrough DNP -29
Head -1 +64
Hibbert -5 -63
D. Jones -4 -140
S. Jones -3 -58
McRoberts +3 -9
Murphy -13 -227
Price +3 +14
Rush +1 -75
Watson +6 -26
  • Troy Murphy left the game in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle and did not return.
  • Josh McRoberts made the first 3-pointer of his career. He had been 0-of-13.
  • Solomon Jones picked up the first regular-season start of his career, replacing Roy Hibbert at center. T.J. Ford returned to the lineup at point guard, replacing Earl Watson. It's the 10th starting lineup of the season.
  • Tyler Hansbrough missed the game with an inner ear infection.
  • Jeff Foster (back) missed his fifth straight.
  • Hustle Board
    Points in the paint:
    Pacers 30, Bulls 20
    Fast-break points:
    Pacers 11, Bulls 11
    Second-chance points:
    Pacers 11, Bulls 10
    Points off turnovers:
    Pacers 17, Bulls 7
    Starters scoring:
    Bulls 63, Pacers 46
    Bench scoring:
    Pacers 49, Bulls 41
    Stat of the Night
    For the third straight game, the Pacers fell behind by at least 17 points in the first quarter, trailing the Bulls 34-15 after one.
    Up Next
    The Pacers return home to conclude their four-game, five-night stretch with their final game of 2009 Wednesday against Memphis (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, 1070 The Fan).
    Related links
  • Blog replay
  • Video
  • Box score
  • Recap
  • Dec. 29, 2009 at Chicago
    Bulls 104, Pacers 95
    Some of the faces changed but the result remained the same. The 10th lineup of the season fared little better than the rest, falling into a 19-point first-quarter hole that left the Pacers running uphill all night. Though they rallied to briefly take the lead in the third quarter, Troy Murphy left the game with a sprained ankle on the next possession and Chicago immediately regained control and cruised to a 105-94 victory Tuesday before 21,87 in United Center.

    The negative numbers are really starting to add up. The Pacers lost their seventh in a row and 18th in 22 games to fall to 9-21. They also dropped their sixth in a row and 12th in 13 on the road to drop to 3-13. Chicago improved to 12-17.

  • "We fell behind by 19 and outscored them by 10 the rest of the game, but we're digging a hole. There's no other way of putting it. The guys came off the bench and played well and the starters played well at the beginning of the third quarter but that (bad start) killed us." -- Jim O'Brien.
  • "I don't know. He couldn't come back. Usually when guys sprain their ankles they're not coming back the next night I don't think." -- O'Brien on Murphy's status.

    Though Coach Jim O'Brien made two changes to the starting lineup, inserting Solomon Jones at center and returning T.J. Ford to point guard, it did little to change the team's problems out of the gate. The Pacers shot 7-of-26 in the first quarter and allowed the Bulls to make 14-of-21 as the home team bolted to a 34-15 lead.

    Once again, the second unit brought the Pacers back, scoring 35 of the team's 38 points in the second quarter with Roy Hibbert (13) and Josh McRoberts (nine) playing particularly big roles. A 12-0 run cut it to 42-38 and the deficit remained four (57-53) at the break.

    A nine-point run by Mike Dunleavy – two 3-pointers and a three-shot foul – gave the Pacers their first lead of the game, 70-68, and Dahntay Jones' bucket made it 72-71 with 6:24 left in the third. But Murphy turned his ankle on the Pacers' next possession and the team went flat as Chicago put together a 16-2 run while the Pacers missed 12 shots in a row.

    Trailing 87-74 entering the fourth, the Pacers got no closer than the final margin.

    The Pacers shot 41 percent overall and were 9-of-24 (.375) from the 3-point line. They committed just 11 turnovers and had 27 assists on 37 baskets but were outrebounded 47-31 and outscored 22-12 from the free-throw line. Hibbert scored 17 in 26 minutes off the bench, adding six rebounds. Dunleavy scored 13 but shot 4-of-13, and Solomon Jones produced a season-high 13 points but just one rebounds on 24 minutes in his first start. Luther Head and Earl Watson had 10 apiece off the bench as the second unit once again outscored the starters 49-46.

    Derrick Rose proved unstoppable, scoring 28 on 11-of-20 shooting to lead the Bulls, adding six assists and five rebounds despite six turnovers. Three reserves came up big as John Salmons scored 17, Brad Miller 16 and Tyrus Thomas pulled 15 rebounds and blocked three shots. Luol Deng scored 15 with eight rebounds and Kirk Hinrich 10 with five assists. The Bulls shot 53 percent overall and hit 6-of-10 from the arc.