Postgame Report: Pacers 107, Bulls 105 090331
Veteran continued his streak of solid performances since moving to the second unit, scoring 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including the game-winner with 3.9 seconds left, adding nine assists, four rebounds, two blocked shots and a steal.
The Pacers improved to 8-4 with Brandon Rush in the starting lineup.
Opening the final month of the season with a big game, the Pacers host the San Antonio Spurs Friday in Conseco Fieldhouse (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, 1070 The Fan).
March 31, 2009 at Conseco Fieldhouse
Pacers 107, Bulls 105
PACERS COACH JIM O'BRIEN
“That was a heck of a win. The guys showed we’re never out of it. We were down eight, hung in there, fought back and won a game against a heck of a team. T.J, (Ford) was terrific."
(On the last play) " We told him to take a shot near the end of the shot clock to not give them much time and he did. T.J. is a quality professional. He’s playing great basketball. He’s playing at a very, very high level."
(On the team) "We turned the ball over sometimes too much. And we don’t always execute in all phases. But there is never a time we feel we’re out of it. They have an unbelievable desire to win. They will themselves to win. They’re a great group to coach."
(On Derrick Rose) "He is a phenom. His speed and size are extraordinary.”
PACERSFORWARD DANNY GRANGER
“Pretty good defensive effort and I got the switch on Gordon that gave me some size at the end. We knew he was going to get the ball and we knew what we had to do. We all work together and we got the job done tonight."
(On this being a must win) "I would say that is a must win because we are chasing Chicago. This was a very positive thing right now. And we have to continue to build on it. T.J. made a great shot and brought it home for us. Despite this win, we’ve got to keep moving. Every game is a must win.”
PACERS CENTER JOSH McROBERTS
“I try to be ready all the time. Tonight I got to play 18 minutes and wanted to make good use of it. All of us guys at the end of the bench must be ready to get any opportunity that presents itself to play. It is my opinion that it is more a mental readiness that we have to have. The physical part is there also, but I still think mentally is the top thing. I am just trying to improve myself on skills that we work on in practices. We just have to be mentally tough.”
BULLS COACH VINNY DEL NEGRO
“Tough game. Guys played hard but we didn’t execute down the stretch. T.J. (Ford) picked us apart and Granger (Danny) was tough. We have to get back to work, but our guys played hard."
(On the last shot by T.J. Ford) "It was a great shot. T.J. got it up."
(On Danny Granger) "Granger is tough. We don’t have our small forwards. He’s a handful. He’s got range and size."
(On the last second shot by Ben Gordon) "It shouldn’t have come to that. But it did and that’s it.”
BULLS GUARD DERRICK ROSE
“They’re a good team and they kept on battling. We had the game and we just let it go."
(On defending T.J. Ford’s last shot) "I just stuck my hand out. He made a fall-away jump shot, and that’s what you want people to take at the end of a game."
(On the Bulls offensive struggles near the end) "We should have gotten to the hole a little more, and tried to get to the free throw line. But we didn’t do it. We have to learn how to finish games more. It feels good that we battled tonight, but it hurts a lot that we lost this game.”
BULLS FORWARD TYRUS THOMAS
(On the lead slipping away) "Down the stretch they made big shots and we didn’t not cover guys on defense. Things happen. We need every win right now. To lose this game is really tough for us. We just have to forget about this and take care of the rest of our schedule. I don’t know how we lost the lead. We have to play our game. Every team has got guys hurt at this time of year. We just lost an opportunity tonight."
(On Danny Granger’s third straight 30 point game) "That’s why he’s an All-Star. It’s that simple.”