NBA Game Summary - Indiana at Chicago
(Wednesday, February 24th)
Final Score: Chicago 120, Indiana 110
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Luol Deng poured in 31 points to go along with nine rebounds and four blocks, as resurgent Chicago continued its late February climb with a 120-110 victory over Indiana.
"I did a good job driving the ball early," said Deng of his scoring attack.
The Bulls, now winners in five of their last six games, also got 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists from Derrick Rose. Taj Gibson and Kirk Hinrich each added 14 points, while new Bull Flip Murray added 16 points for the second straight game for Chicago.
Brandon Rush led a balanced Indiana attack with 21 points and seven rebounds, while Danny Granger totaled 20 points and seven boards. Luther Head added 15 points, T.J. Ford 14 and Dahntay Jones joined Troy Murphy with 13 points. The Pacers shot just 40.9 percent from the floor, but stayed close thanks to 13 three-pointers.
The Bulls made 56.5 percent of their shots in a dominating first period, leading by as many as 23 points before settling for a 37-18 advantage. Chicago tallied nine straight points for a 15-4 lead on Miller's trey and the edge grew to 23 points at 35-12 after Joakim Noah's free throw capped nine more points in succession. Deng drained all four of his shots for 11 first-period points.
"Dug a huge hole in the first quarter, down 23, hard to do that on the road and then come back and get a win. Came back in the second quarter but we didn't have what it took in the second half," said Pacers head coach Jim O'Brien.
The tied drastically turned in the second stanza. A 19-point margin quickly dropped to four nearly halfway through the period, as a 17-5 stretch capped by Granger's corner three made the score 46-40. Chicago grew the lead back out to 10 at 50-40 on Deng's two free throws, but eight straight points from the visitors cut the deficit to just two at 50-48 on a Rush three nearing the three-minute mark.
The Bulls led just 58-54 at the half, as the Pacers made 50 percent of their shots and drained 10-of-11 free throws in the period.
Chicago righted the ship in the third, opening a 83-67 advantage on the heels of an 8-0 spurt capped by Deng's long three with almost six minutes left in the period. The edge stayed in double digits for the remainder of the period with the Bulls holding a 95-82 edge after three quarters.
The margin only reached single digits in the final two minutes of the game, as the visitors never seriously threatened in the final quarter.
Chicago shot 50.6 percent from the floor and grabbed 12 offensive rebounds...The game featured no lead changes...Chicago is 12-5 since January 22...The Bulls have defeated the Pacers three times this season...Pacers forward Mike Dunleavy missed the game because of food poisoning.
02/25 01:29:34 ET