Saturday, November 16th, 2013 at 8:00 PM ET at United Center
Game Rewind: Pacers 94, Bulls 110
Scott Agness | November 16, 2013
The Pacers’ brilliant 9-0 start, their best in NBA franchise history, was in jeopardy playing in Chicago on Saturday night. The Bulls (5-3) put an end to Miami’s 27-game win streak last season and this year they were the first ones to top the Pacers, the NBA’s last unbeaten team, 110-94.
For all the talk about the streak, it was never about that for the team. They are after the No. 1 seed, which would result in home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. It was one of those nights over the course of an 82-game schedule where nothing went right.
The Bulls shot a sweltering 58 percent from outside, more than double their season average, as they asserted their dominance from the start. Derrick Rose, who missed practice all week and didn’t play Friday night after tweaking his right hamstring last Monday, was back in the starting lineup and he scored five points early on. Poor shooting plagued the Pacers throughout the game. The Bulls had their way, and used runs of 10-0 and 12-2 in the opening period to get in front by 11. Of their 31 points in the frame, 16 were scored in the paint – two more than they tallied in their first meeting ten days ago.
Things didn’t improve at all in the second quarter. The Pacers struggled to get shots to go through, even those around the hoop. They were held to 31 percent in the first half, a season low, as both Paul George and Lance Stephenson were 2-for-10. Meanwhile, on the other end, the Bulls sank all five attempts from behind the arc in the second quarter and shot 55 percent for the half. At the break, the Pacers, who had been allowing less than 84 points per game, yielded 60 points in 24 minutes and they trailed by 25 points.
Bulls forward Luol Deng scored nine of his game-high 23 points in the third period. Down by as many as 33, the Pacers ended the third on a 10-2 spurt to trim their deficit to 25. Chris Copeland played the final 17 minutes of the game and he tallied a season-high 13 points. The Pacers made 12-of-18 shots in the final quarter, which helped raise their percentage in the game.
The Bulls, who struggled in their first four games this season, have now won four straight and evened their season series with the Pacers at one game apiece. After squaring off twice within 10 days, these two rivals won’t meet again until mid-March.
The Pacers now return home and have four days between games, with the next two on the road in New York and Boston. Saturday’s game is one they hope is just an isolated incident and one that they move on from quickly.
Inside the Numbers
Six Pacers scored in double figures, including all five starters and led by Roy Hibbert’s 14 points and 10 rebounds. It was his third double-double of the season. Chris Copeland added 13 points off the bench, going 3-for-4 from long range. West also had 13 and George Hill chipped in 11 points along with five assists.
Paul George also saw his streak of consecutive games with 20 or more points to start the season come to an end. He was 3-for-14 with 12 points in 33 minutes.
Still not healthy due to a hamstring injury, Derrick Rose went for 20 and connected on six shots beyond the arc, tying his career high. Taj Gibson was responsible for 15 points and eight rebounds and Kirk Hinrich had 13 points and a game-high eight dimes.
The Bulls won the inside game, outscoring the Pacers by 12 in the paint and pulling down five more rebounds.
Rose Factor: Chicago has won 36 of its last 39 home regular season games in which Rose has been in the lineup. The Bulls, with Rose, are 11-1 vs. the Pacers at the United Center.
Though the Pacers turned the ball over just 11 times, a season low, the Bulls converted them into 14 points.
The Pacers gave up 100 points for the first time this season. Their previous high was 91.
“It was just a tough night for our guys. You have to give credit to the Bulls. They just outplayed us. Rose’s 3s were good shots and were defended well. He just hit the 3. We all had an off night. We all did. I did, each of our guys did. We were a little out of sync both offensively and defensively.” – Frank Vogel
“The end of the streak, that means nothing. We are now 9-1, we got off to a good start. We just lost our first road game. Once the game started tonight I thought they just took the game on. They showed they were the sharper team tonight.” - Vogel
“It’s not about a streak. We have to approach every game the same way. It’s our 1st loss of the year. It will just keep us working harder. We have learned from the streak. Many games we had to battle back or try and hold the lead. Those are things we will take from the streak.” – Paul George
“We just got off to a very slow start. They also hit their shots. Defensively we didn’t make them uncomfortable. They moved the ball from side to side on us all night. We knew it would be a tough game. They were just very active and we didn’t respond.” – David West
Stat of the Game
Entering the game, the Bulls were the third-worst 3-point shooting team in the league at 28.8 percent. In the win, they were 11-for-19 (58 percent) compared to the Pacers’ mediocre 4-for-16 mark.
- Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich was T’d up in the third quarter. Chris Copeland and Carlos Boozer were tossed with 21.9 seconds remaining for exchanging shoves.
- The Bulls recorded their 131st straight sellout (22,158) at the United Center.
The Pacers head to New York, where they'll face the Knicks for the first time since last season's Eastern Conference Semifinals. The game tips off Wednesday at 7 PM at Madison Square Garden.