Game Rewind: Pacers 111, Bulls 101
Monday, February 4th at 7:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: IND 111, CHI 101
By Scott Agness | February 4, 2013
While one might have expected a defensive clash when the top two field goal percentage defenses squared off, both the Pacers and Bulls shot better than their season average and topped the century mark. In a meaningful divisional contest loaded with highlights, the Pacers fended off a late run and beat the Bulls 111-101 to extend their home winning-streak to 14.
The Pacers got off to a sweltering start, playing superbly on both ends. They connected on nine of their first 10 shots and had four steals and three blocks to take an early 11-point lead. On one particularly memorable play, Paul George stepped in front of the passing lane, then took it to the other end and dished – between his legs – to George Hill for an easy layup.
As has often been the case this season, there was a drop off when substitutions were made. The Bulls made six of their final seven shots to close the quarter and outscored the Pacers 14-4 for a 29-28 lead.
When Vogel went back to the starters midway through the second, order was restored. The Pacers went on a 12-4 run, which included an impressive and confident stretch by Lance Stephenson where he crossed his defender over and buried the 15-foot jumper. After shooting 67 percent from the floor, the Pacers led the Bulls by six at the break.
Though West and Hill led the way for most of the game, Lance Stephenson showed flashes of brilliance at times. He showcased his ball skills with multiple dazzling crossovers, added some highlight reel passes, and brought the crowd to its feet with a monster dunk in the third quarter. He finished with 15 points and five assists.
The Bulls came within one a couple times in the third before the Pacers used a 9-0 burst to take a double-digit lead, which they would maintain until early in the final period.
Marco Belinelli, playing with a bum right ankle sustained earlier in the game, single-handedly tried to get his team back in front. He knocked down five jumpers, laid in another shot and had 13 points in the fourth quarter. Following one 14-foot jumper from Belinellli, George drained a 3-pointer at the other end with 78 seconds remaining to push the Pacers up seven.
Luol Deng then missed a jumper, which George contested. David West, who quietly scored a game-high 29 points, swallowed the rebound, and hit two free throws after he was fouled.
After George's triple, the Pacers made all 10 foul shots in the final 65 seconds to secure the 111-101 win. Not only did Indiana continue its winning ways at home, but starts a back-to-back-to-back stretch on the right note. The win also gave the Pacers a 2-0 season-series lead on their Central Division rival.
Inside the Numbers
David West scored a game-high 29 points (on 11-of-18 shooting), grabbed nine boards, dished out four assist,s and swatted three shots in 37 minutes. George Hill made his first seven shots and finished 7-of-10, scored 22 points and had a team-high six dimes.
With 21 points and 11 assists, Paul George registered his 14th double-double this season, which leads the team.
Bulls reserve Marco Belinelli tallied a season-high 24 points. Luol Deng, matched up against Paul George, was limited to 13 points on 4-of-18 shooting. Four other Bulls players contributed 10 points each.
Over the last five games, the Pacers have emphasized the extra pass on offense in hopes of greater offensive production. With 23 assists tonight, they have had at least 20 assists and averaged 104 points per game in five straight games.
The Pacers' 111 points – 60 in the first half – is their highest total in regulation and just the third time they’ve scored over 110 this season.
“I’m proud of how we’re growing on the offensive end. We’re shooting over 50 percent over the last five games – 52 percent tonight. Still a few too many turnovers but I’m pleased with how the ball is moving and the tempo that we’re playing. We have to tighten the screws on D’ and we’ll be pretty good.” – Frank Vogel on Indiana’s offense
“They play the game the right way. They always defend and they always share the ball. That’s a trademark of (Coach) Thibodeau’s teams and when you do those two things, you’re never out of a game and it’s easy to show great resolve.” – Frank Vogel on Chicago’s runs to stay in the game
“I think we’re starting to realize to trust each other, make the extra passes and things like that…I think we’re all starting to tie together and know that that’s what we have to do to be successful.” – George Hill
“They’re not going anywhere. They’re just one of those teams that are going to get better as the year wears on, as the game wears on. So we knew we weren’t going to be able to put them away because they’re too well coached.” – David West on the Bulls
“This is a tough stretch for us. We know what type of problems Chicago brings, in terms of who they are, so we couldn’t let are guard down. I thought we just came out and put up the type of fight you need to win a game like this.” – David West on opening their challenging stretch
Stat of the Game
The Pacers ended the Bulls’ NBA record-tying streak of 41 consecutive wins when scoring 100+ points.
- The Pacers have won both meetings this year and four of their last six games against the Bulls.
- Richard Hamilton was T’d up in the third quarter.
- The Bulls were without Derrick Rose (knee), Kirk Hinrich (elbow) and All-Star center Joakim Noah (foot).
- Pacers rookie Miles Plumlee was reassigned to the club’s D-League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
- Chicago guard Nate Robinson was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
The Pacers welcome the Atlanta Hawks to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday at 7 PM EST.