Pacers vs Bulls

Game Recap: Bulls 113, Pacers 97

The Bulls defeated the Pacers, 113-97. Nikola Vucevic led the Bulls with 32 points, 17 rebounds and five assists, while Zach LaVine added 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists in the victory. Cari

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Game Recap: Bulls 113, Pacers 97

The Bulls defeated the Pacers, 113-97. Nikola Vucevic led the Bulls with 32 points, 17 rebounds and five assists, while Zach LaVine added 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists in the victory. Cari
Apr 6, 2021  |  00:01

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room – April 6, 2021

April 6, 2021 – Nate Bjorkgren, Caris LeVert, and Jeremy Lamb speak with the media following Indiana's 113-97 loss to the Chicago Bulls at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Apr 6, 2021  |  01:51

Pacers Go End to End

April 6, 2021 - JaKarr Sampson blocks the shot and T.J. McConnell takes it down the floor for the tough layup.
Apr 6, 2021  |  00:11

Caris Isolates and Scores

April 6, 2021 - Caris LeVert spins off the dribble and hits the midrange shot.
Apr 6, 2021  |  00:10

Holiday Throws It Down

April 6, 2021 - Justin Holiday gets past his defender on the baseline and throws down the left-handed jam.
Apr 6, 2021  |  00:07

Sumner Finds McDermott Behind the Arc

April 6, 2021 - Caris LeVert saves it to Edmond Sumner, who gets down the floor and finds Doug McDermott behind the arc.
Apr 6, 2021  |  00:10

Turner Hits the Deep Three

April 6, 2021 - Myles Turner trails the play and steps into the deep 3-pointer.
Apr 6, 2021  |  00:10

LeVert Works Off the Dribble

April 6, 2021 - Caris LeVert gets into his bag of tricks off the dribble and hits the tough finish.
Apr 6, 2021  |  00:10

Sumner on the Run

April 6, 2021 - Caris LeVert hits Edmond Sumner on the run for the easy fastbreak layup.
Apr 6, 2021  |  00:08

Game Rewind: Pacers 97, Bulls 113

Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

Game Recap

Indiana had hoped a season-high 139-point outburst against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday would spark some momentum as the playoffs loom in the distance.

However, the absences of Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis proved too much against the Chicago Bulls and its newest player. Former Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic notched 32 points and 17 rebounds as the visitors (21-28) toppled the Blue & Gold (22-27), 113-97. To make matters worse another prominent Pacers starter, Myles Turner, left the game early in the third quarter with a sprained ankle. He did not return to action.

Five Indiana players finished in double figures, with Caris LeVert leading the way with 20 points on 9-of-18 shooting. In his first game back since spraining his right toe, Jeremy Lamb recorded a solid 15 points, while Edmond Sumner added another 15 as well. But it just was not enough. After the game, head coach Nate Bjorkgren pointed to the discrepancy in rebounding (57-33) — especially on the offensive glass (14-6) — as a major factor in why the squad trailed for most of the night.

"Especially that first half, the glass was the biggest issue," he said. The Blue & Gold were out-rebounded 8-0 on the offensive boards over the first 24 minutes.

"Defensively, we have to be better. Period."

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Tracking the Latest Standings, Remaining Schedules, and More »

The opening minutes saw a balanced affair with neither team making a significant run. After Zach LaVine fired a contested trey from the top of the key, Turner arced in a triple of his own to push the Pacers back on top. LeVert then drove the paint for another bucket, extending Indiana's slim lead to 11-8 with 7:57 to play.

LeVert continued to pilot the offense for Indiana, using his impressive handles to record seven points of an 8-2 spree that gave the Pacers a 21-16 edge with 3:42 left in the frame. Playing point guard in absence of Brogdon, the former Michigan standout worked around his slower mismatches to find easy points in the paint.

"I'm pretty comfortable with doing that," he said of playing extended minutes at point. "I've done it the past couple of years in my career. For me, it's just learning the offense, learning my teammates' tendencies and things like that."

But Chicago didn't let the Blue & Gold run away. The visitors eventually knotted things up at 26 apiece after Troy Brown Jr.'s and-one finish with 1:57 to play. Former Pacer Thaddeus Young's 12-foot floater with 27.2 seconds lead gave the Bulls a 30-28 lead after one.

The first significant run of the game — a 9-2 Bulls surge that grabbed a 39-30 lead with 9:36 to play in the second quarter — proved to be enough for the visitors to control for good. Reserve point guard Coby White notched five points of the spree, including a deep triple from the right wing. He finished with 13.

Despite a timeout from coach Nate Bjorkgren, the Pacers struggled to make up ground. Consecutive offensive boards from the Bulls soon netted a double-digit lead. Vucevic's putback tip pushed the visitor's lead to 45-33 with 7:16 to go.

The squad did manage to knock in seven unanswered – four from Lamb, to cut the deficit to 45-40 with 5:57 left. But the newest Bull soon widened Indiana's deficit to double figures once again. After LeVert's 18-footer cut the score to 48-42, Vucevic recorded five straight to extend Chicago's lead to 53-42 at the 3:18 mark.

Chicago stretched its lead to 15 down the stretch before a Doug McDermott three from the left side trimmed it down to 58-47 with 1:05 to go. After a free throw from Young, Sumner's driving layup threatened to trim it to 10. But Tomas Satoransky's lone three of the game fell with 15 seconds remaining, giving the Bulls a 62-49 edge at the break.

After the break, Chicago kept on rolling, notching the first seven points of the third to grab a 20-point advantage. Then, at the 11:00 mark, Turner jumped up to a block an attempt. The big man fell awkwardly, rolling his left ankle in the process. He immediately left the court and headed to the locker room, adding more misery to the night.

But despite the mishap, the Pacers caught fire for a spell. A 12-4 run, including a string of seven unanswered, cut Chicago's lead to 73-61 with 7:10 left in the frame. Sumner reached double figures for the contest by notching five points of the surge, including a gritty and-one floater in the paint.

But Chicago soon stopped the Pacers' attempt, using threes from Vucevic and Patrick Williams to regain control. After LeVert's turnaround jumper cut the deficit to 11, the All-Star found back-to-back close-range buckets to push Chicago's lead back to 85-70 with 3:40 remaining. After a timeout, Chicago easily pushed the lead back to 20. Indiana scored just four more points for the duration of the frame and trailed 97-74 heading into the fourth.

JaKarr Sampson's energy gave Pacers fans a bright moment early in the fourth. His energetic play led to a 10-0 Indiana run to start the frame. The former St. John's forward muscled up a layup through a foul, earned a second possession after his missed free throw, then proceeded to block Brown's layup on the defensive end. The swat led to T.J. McConnell sprinting coast-to-coast for an easy layup that cut Chicago's lead to 97-79 at the 11:22 mark. Later, Lamb's wide-open 3-pointer from the right side trimmed the deficit to 97-84 with 9:45 remaining.

Although the Bulls responded with five straight, Sampson and Indiana hung tough. The big man added another bucket — a nifty reverse layup — at the 7:50 mark to keep the deficit at 14, 102-88. However, the talents of Vucevic started shining through once more. Back-to-back buckets helped him hit the 30-point mark for the game to push the lead back to 109-91 with just 4:24 left.

With the game out of hand, coach Bjorkgren headed deep into the bench. Fans got their first glimpse of Oshae Brissett, who signed a 10-day contract last week. The newest Pacer notched his first bucket — a running flush — with 1:52 to play. But that would be the last highlight of the night. Indiana will prepare for a bout against the Minnesota Timberwolves that begins in less than 24 hours.

Inside the Numbers

Indiana has failed to reach the century mark in three of its last four games. The Pacers are 0-6 this season when scoring 99 points or fewer

The Pacers are 11-22 this season when outrebounded by opponents.

Doug McDermott (11 points) has reached double figures in 14 of his last 15 appearances

You Can Quote Me On That

"You get frustrated with things — no doubt about it. You want to be better. I want to be better. The guys want to be better. So there's been some guys going down, we haven't used it as an excuse at all. We have guys on this team that can play. Guys on this team that I believe in very much." –Bjorkgren on staying positive despite the misfortunes

"(He brings) energy and a lot of effort, heart, and hustle. You know, he makes winning plays out there on the court. He's very unselfish. And that's what we need from him, being a veteran in this league, coming off the bench and staying ready at all times. We're definitely going to need that tomorrow and going forward." –LeVert on what Sampson brings to the team

Stat of the Night

The 57-33 rebound deficit tonight is the largest of the season for Indiana.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have lost three straight home games and nine of their last 10 games overall to fall to 8-15 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse this season.
  • Chicago finished with two road wins at Indiana in one season for the first time since the 1996-97 season.
  • The Blue & Gold now trail in the all-time regular-season series with the Bulls, 96-99.

Up Next

The Pacers return to action to host Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves on the second night of a back-to-Wednesday, April 7 at 7:00 PM ET.

Tickets

A limited number of tickets for all upcoming Pacers home games from March 17 - April 21 are now on sale. Tickets for the final nine regular season home games will go on sale on Monday, April 19. Single Game Tickets »   Health & Safety Guidelines »





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