The Pacers came out on top in a back-and-forth affair against the Bulls, winning 107-105 in Chicago.
The game came down to the final few minutes. The Bulls led by seven midway through the fourth quarter, but the Pacers answered with a 7-0 run to tie things up at 99 with 4:33 left. After a Bulls timeout, Indiana regained the lead and was up 105-101, but the Bylls weren't done.
Darren Collison fouled Antonio Blakeney behind the 3-point line. Blakeney made the shot and the ensuing free throw to tie the contest with 30.5 remaining.
Nate McMillan drew up a beautiful play and that found Collison open in the left corner. After a pump fake that sent a defender flying, Collison got a little closer and made amends for the previous play, draining a jumper to put Indiana up two with 18.5 seconds left.
On the Bulls' final possession, Zach LaVine missed a jump shot, and the ball came to Justin Holiday. He missed an open 3-pointer, which bounced to Blakeney. Blakeney tried to get a shot up but Myles Turner was right there and firmly denied him for his sixth and most important block of the game.
“That’s what we wanted him to do is to defend the basket," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. "Tonight, he had to come out and defend the perimeter. Their guards are scorers, and those guys have the ability to shoot behind that 3-point line, and they were knocking down some shots. We stayed with our defense trying to pressure those guys, keeping our ‘bigs’ up, and he had the game-winning block at the end there.”
The finish may have been strong, but the Pacers' start was less than stellar and led to the team finding itself in a hole early. Chicago jumped out to a 23-9 lead with 5:45 to play in the opening quarter. When the period was over, the Pacers were still down double digits, trailing 37-22.
Early in the second quarter the Bulls' lead grew to 18, but from that point Indiana responded and took over the game. The visitors went on a 28-8 over a period of 7:05 to tie things up at 50 with just over three minutes to play in the half.
The Pacers took their first lead of the game, 57-55 with 40.0 seconds to go and were able hold onto that advantage heading into the locker room.
In the third, both teams continued to battle and were tied at 70 at the quarter's midway point. Indiana would eventually build an eight-point lead and take a seven-point advantage, 87-80, into the final period.
But the lead wouldn't last long as Chicago got off to a great start in the fourth. The Bulls regained the lead, 94-92, thanks to a Blakeney jumper with 7:58 left in the game. From there, the Pacers made just enough plays to secure the win.
“The great thing about this team is that we respond well," Pacers guard Victor Oladipo said. "We get on each other, we get upset at each other, we challenge each other, but at the end of the day we’re still a family.”
Oladipo finished the half with 25 points and 14 rebounds. In addition to his six blocks, Turner had 18 points and three rebounds.
The Bulls were led by 22 points from Blakeney. LaVine added 20 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Inside The Numbers
With 25 points and 14 rebounds Victor Oladipo secured his first double-double of the season.
Myles Turner's 18 points were a season high.
You Can Quote Me On That
“Our bench lifted us. They did a great job coming off the bench and giving us a push and giving us a look and giving us a chance to win the game, so credit them for doing that. It was a great, collective team win." - Pacers guard Victor Oladipo
"On the last possession, we had three [good] looks at it, and unfortunately it didn't go down." - Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg
“Obviously I had a good game, but I’d change it all just to get a win. We lost two tough games here.” - Bulls guard Antonio Blakeney
Stat of The Night
The Pacers have struggled from the free-throw line this season, but that was not the case tonight. Indiana made 20 of its 22 attempts, good for 90.9 percent.
- Myles Turner's six blocks tied his career high.
- Victor Oladipo scored at least 20 points for the eighth game in a row, the longest such streak of his career.
- With his nine rebounds on the night, Thaddeus Young surpassed 1,000 in his Pacers career.
Following their two-game road trip, the Pacers return home to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics on Sat, Dec. 3 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »
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