NBA Game Summary - Indiana at Chicago
(Saturday, March 28th)
Final Score: Chicago 112, Indiana 106
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Ben Gordon had 25 points and John Salmons 22, with six of Chicago's seven three-pointers between them, as the Bulls defeated Indiana, 112-106, to achieve the team's first four-game win streak in two years.
Tyrus Thomas scored 18 with eight boards and seven blocks, and Brad Miller added 17 points for Chicago, which is peaking at the right time with the club immersed in a race for one of the Eastern Conference's final playoff spots.
"Some of (the blocks) got the crowd involved, some of them gave us an extra possession," Thomas said. "And some of them just disrupted the things the pacers were trying to get done."
It was Chicago's first four-game winning streak since March 22-29, 2007.
The Bulls closed out a perfect three-game homestand with the win and has won seven of eight overall to remain tied with Detroit for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. Derrick Rose logged 16 points, nine boards and eight helpers in the win.
Danny Granger dropped 32 points and Brandon Rush netted 29 for the Pacers, who had won two in a row following a five-game losing streak. Jeff Foster hauled in a game-high 18 rebounds and scored seven in the loss.
"My teammates were able to find me, I was making some shots," Rush said. "I was able to get to the hole, and I just played my type of game the whole game."
Indiana, which is 5 1/2 games off the final playoff spot in the East, was aiming for its first three-game winning streak since November 8-12 this season.
Indiana opened the final quarter down five and trailed from there until a Foster deuce and Granger three provided a 97-96 edge just before the six- minute mark. The Pacers continued to hold a slight edge until back-to-back Salmons three-pointers and a Thomas basket helped the Bulls to a 107-102 lead with 1 1/2 minutes to play.
A pair of field goals by T.J. Ford on the other end around a Rose trip to the hoop for two made it a one-possession game at 109-106 with 56.1 ticks remaining.
A Granger layup would have made it a one-point game, but Thomas swatted his seventh block of the game, got the loose ball and was fouled with 25.1 on the clock. His two free throws and 1-of-2 from Rose moments later sealed up the victory.
The Pacers came out with the hot hand and led 35-21 after the opening 12 minutes in large part thanks to Rush's 18 first-quarter points.
Gordon sparked the Bulls with 13 points in the second stanza and capped an 13-2 run to open the frame with a three-pointer to trim Indiana's lead to 37-34. An 8-0 spurt extended the run to 21-4, and Kirk Hinrich's jumper just before the midway point dropped for a 42-39 Chicago edge.
Granger's layup put the Pacers back in front a short time later before Salmons scored six of Chicago's final eight points in the frame to get within four, 58-54, at the break.
A three-pointer and jumper by Salmons opened the second half and gave Chicago the lead. The teams traded shots and played it close until a 9-0 Bulls stretch allowed for a 78-72 lead with 4 1/2 minutes to go.
A three-point play by Miller extended the lead to seven before the Pacers got back within five, 87-82, on a Rasho Nesterovic tip-in just before the horn.
Chicago has won eight of the last 12 matchups with the Pacers...The Bulls moved to 24-12 at home...Indiana is 10-29 as the visitor this season...Indiana's Troy Murphy missed a second straight game with a left knee sprain...Ford ended with 14 points, seven boards and six assists in the loss.
03/28 21:59:28 ET