Player of the Game
Tied his career-high by making five 3-pointers on his way to a season-high 21 points, adding seven rebounds and two blocked shots.
Bulls 38, Pacers 32
Pacers 13, Bulls 13
Bulls 18, Pacers 7
Points off turnovers:
Pacers 21, Bulls 16
Bulls 90, Pacers 66
Pacers 44, Bulls 30
Stat of the Night
END RESULTDanny Granger returned. Unfortunately, the defense was absent.
Falling behind by 23 in the first quarter only to come all the way back in the second, the Pacers couldn't maintain their momentum as Chicago regained control in the second half and didn't let go, pulling away for a 120-110 victory Wednesday before 20,363 in United Center.
Luol Deng scored a season-high 31 to lead the Bulls, who scored 25 points in the first 5½ minutes of the third quarter, while point guard Derrick Rose flirted with a triple-double, posting 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
Brandon Rush tied his career-high with five 3-pointers and scored a season-high 21 to lead the Pacers, while Granger, who missed Monday's game in Dallas due to personal reasons, returned to score 20.
IMPACTThe Pacers lost for the sixth time in seven games (all played against teams with winning records) and dropped to 19-38 overall, 7-23 on the road. They're 1-17 on the road against teams with winning records. Chicago won for the fifth time in six games to improve to 30-27 overall, 18-9 at home, 3-0 against the Pacers.
KEY MOMENTSThe first quarter has been problematic throughout the season, particularly so on the four-game road trip (the Pacers were outscored 127-84 in the first periods), and Chicago exploited that by rolling out to a 35-12 lead. Granger, Rush and Luther Head brought the Pacers back. Granger scored 13 and Rush 12 (all on 3-pointers) in the 40-17 counter-run that resulted in a 52-all tie with two minutes left in the half.
O'Brien went with the lineup that worked in the second quarter, but it didn't work to start the second half as the small group with T.J. Ford and Earl Watson in the backcourt was decimated by the Bulls, who racked up 25 points on 9-of-11 shooting in the first 5½ minutes of the third period to push their advantage to 83-67.
The Pacers remained on the ropes the rest of the night but weren't knocked out until Rose drove for a three-point play, then flushed an alley-oop dunk in transition to put the Bulls up 114-96 with just over four minutes remaining.
BY THE NUMBERSThe Pacers shot better from the 3-point line (.448) than inside the arc (.389) and were outrebounded 46-38. Rush was 7-of-17 overall, 5-of-9 from the arc and had seven rebounds and two blocks to complement his 21 points. Granger shot 5-of-14 overall, 4-of-8 from the arc, for 20 points accompanied by seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block. Head scored 15 on 5-of-9 shooting off the bench. T.J. Ford scored 14 and Dahntay Jones and Troy Murphy had 13 each.
Deng scored 20 of his 31 in the first half, adding nine rebounds, four blocked shots and three assists. Rose was a force throughout with 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, making 10-of-19 shots. Recent acquisition Flip Murray had 16 points and six rebounds off the bench. Taj Gibson had 14 points and 11 rebounds (seven offensive) and Kirk Hinrich had 14 points and five assists.