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Pacers lose control in fourth quarter
By Conrad Brunner
Individually, there were a couple of nice milestones. Collectively, there wasn't a whole lot to remember.
Josh McRoberts scored a career-high 20 points and Jeff Foster pulled the 5,000th rebound of his career Saturday night but the Pacers lost control in the fourth quarter and let an otherwise close game get out of hand down the stretch in a 110-89 loss before 21,611 in United Center.
The game was tied 70-all late in the third and the Pacers were down just 85-79 early in the fourth but Kyle Korver scored nine points in a 17-3 run that included three technical fouls against the Pacers, including an ejection for Coach Jim O'Brien, as the Bulls put it away.
Carlos Boozer scored 24 and Derrick Rose 20 for the Bulls.
The Pacers dropped to 17-27 overall, lost their fifth in a row and 14th in 15 games on the road, and lost their fifth in a row in United Center. The Bulls won their fifth straight, all at home, to improve to 33-14 overall, 23-4 at home, where they've won 14 of 15.
- “Derrick Rose and Kyle Korver, we couldn't guard them down the stretch." – Pacers coach Jim O'Brien
- “I thought (McRoberts) played great. Josh has played back-to-back games really well. We have a real good flow when he's in the basketball game." – O'Brien
- “It just got out of hand for us. They made a lot of shots. Our turnovers, bad shots and lack of execution just let it snowball from there." – Pacers guard Mike Dunleavy
- “In my eyes, the Pacers are a really talented team. They are very well coached, they play hard and they can put a lot of points on the board." – Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau
STAT OF THE GAME
Jeff Foster grabbed the 5,000th rebound of his career, fittingly, on a putback with 8:12 left in the second quarter. Foster is the fifth Pacers player to reach that level, trailing only Mel Daniels, Dale Davis, Rik Smits and George McGinnis.
For three quarters, this was a hotly contested game. The Pacers rode hot 3-point shooting (6-of-11) in the first half to trail just 55-51 at the break as Derrick Rose shot just 1-of-7.
McRoberts broke loose in the third quarter, scoring 10 in a row and 13 overall as the Pacers rallied to tie it. But when McRoberts went to the bench the Bulls quickly regained the advantage with a 13-2 run behind Rose – who scored 15 of Chicago's first 26 points of the second half – to take an 83-72 lead.
With A.J. Price providing a brief spark, the Pacers cut it to 85-79 with 8:59 remaining but would make just two more baskets the rest of the way as the Bulls pulled away. Indiana shot 3-of-17 in the fourth quarter and 12-of-36 (.333) in the second half.
BY THE NUMBERS
McRoberts made 8-of-12 from the field and 2-of-3 from the 3-point line for his 20 points, adding eight rebounds and a couple of blocked shots. Danny Granger scored 19 on 6-of-14 shooting, 2-of-5 from the arc, adding six rebounds. Mike Dunleavy scored 13 but just one in the second half. Price had 12 points off the bench and Darren Collison had 11 points and eight assists. After scoring 20 Friday, Roy Hibbert managed just two points in 21 minutes.
Indiana had just 15 assists and 13 turnovers and shot just 15-of-24 (.625) from the free-throw line, the third game in a row below 70 percent.
Boozer shot 11-of-21 and had 10 rebounds and four assists to accompany his game-high 24. Rose was 7-of-10 in the second half and added seven assists to his 20. Luol Deng had 19 points, eight assists and six rebounds, while Korver scored 16 in 21 minutes off the bench. The Bulls shot .477 overall.
- O'Brien was ejected for arguing a call that eventually was reversed. Jostling for rebound position with Boozer, McRoberts was originally ejected for what officials termed a "hostile act." O'Brien protested and was hit with his second technical foul of the quarter and tossed with 3:23 remaining in the game. Officials reviewed the replay and downgraded the call against McRoberts to a technical foul. Korver made the two technical foul free throws to give the Bulls a 102-82 lead.
- The Pacers' record with the starting lineup of Collison, Dunleavy, Granger, McRoberts and Roy Hibbert dropped to 11-10.
- Tyler Hansbrough missed his second game in a row with pneumonia, clearing the way for McRoberts to start.
- Brandon Rush missed his second game in a row with a sprained right ankle.
- The Bulls lost reserve power forward Taj Gibson to an apparent sprained right ankle early in the fourth quarter.
- The Bulls have held 12 straight opponents to less than 100 points, winning 10. In that span, they've held nine below 90.
- Chicago reached 100 points for the first time since Jan. 4, a span of 13 games.
The Pacers return home to face the Toronto Raptors on Monday at Conseco Fieldhouse (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM). Tickets: Buy Now | All You Can Eat Monday presented by Vienna Beef