Rewind: Pacers vs. Bulls 120125
Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 at Chicago
A wild scramble of a game came down to a wild scramble of a play. Fortunately for the Pacers, they had the right guys in the right place at the right time as Paul George scooped up a loose ball and found an open Roy Hibbert for an uncontested dunk that sealed Indiana's thrilling 95-90 victory over the Bulls in Chicago Wednesday.
One night after having their perfect start at home spoiled by a loss to Orlando, the Pacers (12-5) snapped a nine-game losing streak in Chicago and became the first team this season to win in United Center as the Bulls (16-4) had a 12-game home streak snapped.
Indiana wiped out a 10-point halftime deficit to take a 75-74 lead heading into the fourth and did not relinquish it. Chicago twice cut the lead to two points in the final two minutes and had a chance to tie when Derrick Rose drove to the hoop and kicked to an open Brian Scalabrine in the corner, but the reserve forward missed a 3-point attempt.
That sent bodies flying all over the floor in pursuit of the critical rebound but it wound up in the hands of Darren Collison, who raced upcourt but lost control when he tried to pull up. The ball rolled directly to George, who fed Hibbert for the clincher.
BY THE NUMBERS
All five starters scored in double figures for the fourth time this season as Granger (22) and Hibbert (20) each scored at least 20 in the same game for the first time. Granger shot 9 of 16 and added nine rebounds. Hibbert shot 9 of 14 and had eight rebounds and four blocked shots. David West scored nine of his 14 in the fourth quarter, adding seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks. George scored 13, Collison 11 with eight assists and six rebounds and Tyler Hansbrough 10 with six rebounds off the bench. The Pacers shot 48 percent and held the Bulls to 6 of 28 shooting in the fourth quarter.
Rose led the Bulls with 24 but had just three assists. Ronnie Brewer scored 20 with 10 rebounds and five assists, Richard Hamilton scored 17, Carlos Boozer 11 and Joakim Noah 10 with 13 rebounds for the Bulls, who shot 40 percent.
"Orlando taught us a lesson last night. You can have a tough loss and come back and learn a lesson from it. We're a different team then we were last year. This year we are confident we'll score in crunch time and in the fourth quarter we get stops." - Pacers Coach Frank Vogel
"We talked at halftime about how we were just beating ourselves. In the first half we were leaving shooters and playing poor defense. We emphasized that the game was not over and that we would make a run at them." - Vogel
"It was a disappointing 1st half for us. We did not get back on our defensive transitions. We knew we could still make a third quarter run. We turned up our defense and got that run after being down 10 and literally giving that lead to them." - Granger
"We're a totally different team from last year. It was my first time in the playoffs and we learned from that experience. It made us a better team and the Bulls taught us how to fight to the end to win." - Hibbert
STAT OF THE GAME
In their five-game playoff loss to the Bulls last year, the teams were virtually even in the first three quarters, with the Pacers outscored by a single point. In the fourth quarter, however, they were outscored by 36. Tonight, they outscored the Bulls 20-16 in the final period.
Unable to contend with Rose in the first quarter, the Pacers were undone by Brewer in the second and faced a 10-point deficit, 54-44, at halftime.
Rose scored Chicago's final 12 points of the first quarter to offset strong starts by Granger and Hibbert. After a pair of buckets by Paul George midway through the second, the Pacers had a 35-34 lead. But Brewer, a fill-in starter who entered the game with a 7.2 scoring average, took over the game, scoring 14 of Chicago's final 20 points of the half including a pair of dunks and a three-point play.
Granger and Hibbert got the Pacers started strong in the third quarter, with Granger scoring twice in a row in transition to cap an 11-3 run that cut Chicago's lead to 57-55. Tyler Hansbrough then came on strong off the bench with seven points late in the period as the Pacers took a 75-74 lead into the fourth quarter.
West was huge in the early minutes of the fourth, scoring seven including a pair of dunks as the Pacers extended the lead to 89-82 with 4:11 remaining. But the Bulls, who missed 17 of their first 21 shots in the quarter, scored twice on second-chance opportunities to cut it to 89-86 and it remained tight the rest of the way.
The Pacers improved to 11-0 when they score at least 90 points, 9-0 when they hit at least one-third of their 3-pointers (they shot 5-of-10). … This was the third time in seven games the Pacers wiped out a double-digit deficit to win. … Hibbert picked up his first technical foul of the season midway through the third quarter for pushing the ball into the midsection of Boozer rather than giving it to the official after a made basket. … Rose scored the Bulls' final 12 points of the first quarter and almost made it 15 when he banked in a desperation 3-pointer at the end of the period. Originally ruled good, it was wiped off the board after a replay review by the officials. … The Bulls played without second-leading scorer Luol Deng, out indefinitely with a torn ligament in his left wrist. Brewer started in his place. Chicago also was without backup power forward Taj Gibson due to a sprained ankle. … The Pacers were missing backup center Jeff Foster (lower back procedure), who may return next week, and backup point guard A.J. Price (strep throat).
The road trip continues Friday in Boston as the Pacers face the Celtics for the third time this season (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM). The Pacers won the first two meetings 87-74 in Boston on Jan. 6 and 97-83 on Jan. 14 in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana will be trying to win consecutive games in Boston for the first time since 2004.