Postgame Report: Pacers 98, Bulls 91 090222
Scored nine of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, six in a row in the final 2 minutes including a clutch dunk that iced the victory. He also added eight rebounds, five assists and two steals.
The Pacers are 5-1 in games Danny Granger has missed, and 4-1 when both Granger and Mike Dunleavy are out.
The Pacers hit the road to face the Knicks in New York Monday (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, 1070 The Fan)
Feb. 22, 2009 at Conseco Fieldhouse
Pacers 98, Bulls 91
PACERS COACH JIM O'BRIEN
“I think all the close games we’ve played really benefitted us tonight. We stepped up defensively at the end and that was the difference. I thought we were consistently focused defensively in the second half, challenging shots and keeping the ball out of the paint."
(On T.J. Ford) "He made big shots for us."
(On Troy Murphy) "Troy is playing great. I don’t know if he has played better in his career. He has meant the world to us. He has been very, very consistent."
"I don’t think the guys in uniform tonight weren’t surprised they played well. To be able to get two in a row says a lot of the mind-set of our players.”
PACERS GUARD TROY MURPHY
(On losing the lead and then coming back) "We’re a pretty resilient group. When a team comes back on us, I don’t think we worry too much. We just pretty much stayed in the game, hit shots and turned things back our way."
(On playing without Granger and Dunleavy) "It’s a big adjustment, especially with Danny out at the end of games. He was a guy to go to and to hit shots. Today we went to T.J. and he delivered."
PACERS FORWARD MARQUIS DANIELS
(On defense down the stretch) "That’s something we need to get back to, playing defense. We’re trying to take care of the paint, and penetration, and I think we did that. Right now all wins are good for us. However we get them, we’ll take them. "
(On playing without the injured players) "They’re great scorers and everybody has to pick it up in different areas. We have to play better defense. Some other guys just have to step up and score more points."
(On building confidence with wins without injured players) "Every win right now is key. We just have to go out there and continue to focus on the Pacers and continue to get better.
(On watching the standings) "You always keep your eye over there. But we just have to focus on winning and getting better.”
BULLS COACH VINNY DEL NEGRO
“I thought our guys played hard, not real smart at times. Offensive rebounds were the difference. We weren’t able to control T.J.’s penetration."
"We had opportunities but didn’t seem to capitalize on them. We had good looks. We weren’t able to knock them down. We weren’t able to handle penetration or offensive rebounds. I thought our guys played hard but I felt we didn’t have a sense of urgency."
(On Ben Gordon) "His first half was strong, making everything. He got us back in the game.”
BULLS GUARD JOHN SALMONS
(On his first game with the Bulls) "I had a lot of nervous energy. It felt like everything was going at 100 miles per hour. But after a while, it turned into a regular basketball game. I started to get comfortable after I ran up and down the court a couple of times and was able to settle down and play some basketball and try to help my team out."
"After the beginning of the game, I felt that we got pretty comfortable. I was feeling my way and just trying to play my role. Then in the third quarter, we got back in the game because we got stops. They were killing us on the pick and roll. But in that quarter, we did a great job on defending it. That allowed us to get stops.”
BULLS CENTER BRAD MILLER
(On first game back with the Bulls) "I was excited to be out there. I hadn’t actually played in a game in a while. It was pretty basic in terms of what we were trying to do offensively, so it wasn’t too hard to mesh with my teammates."
(On the third quarter comeback with the new players) "Just three old guys out there running basic plays and we were able to get ourselves in a good rhythm. And we’ll just see how it goes from here. Tomorrow will be a pretty good day for us. We’ll have a chance to practice and we might have to scrimmage some. But we’re a bunch of veterans and that’s the good thing. It shouldn’t take us too long to get adjusted.”