(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – The Chicago Bulls (2-2) forces the Indiana Pacers (2-1) to turn the ball over seventeen times to hand the Pacers their first loss of the season.
In the first quarter against Washington and Cleveland, the Pacers defense struggled to get stops, but tonight they were able to get stops. What plagued Indiana in the first quarter would be the theme of the night, struggling to knock down threes. Bruce Brown knocked down both of his attempts, but the rest of the team was 2/10. Tyrese Haliburton led Indiana in scoring in the period with 7 points and dished out 6 assists. Chicago was led in scoring by Nikola Vucevic with 8 points and 6 rebounds. Neither team would possess a large lead. Both teams largest lead was 6 points and the lead changed seven times in the quarter. After one, it was 30-27 advantage Pacers.
The middle quarters would be the two lowest scoring totals when you add up each team’s numbers. Indiana would be outscored 26-25 by the Bulls. This is the quarter where the shooting woes would begin for Indiana. They took 11 threes, but only made two of them (Myles Turner made both). Chicago had a balanced scoring approach with seven of the nine players scoring for the Bulls with four players scoring five points. For Indiana, Myles Turner was their offense with 11 points. Chicago got to the free throw line 11 times and only missed one. Leading all scorers with 13 points was Turner. Haliburton was second with 11 points. Chicago’s leading scorer was LaVine and Vucevic with 10 points. At halftime, Indiana managed to hold onto a two-point lead at 55-53.
Quarter three would be a rollercoaster for the Indiana Pacers. They would nearly go ahead by double figures for the first time in the game but would not take care of the basketball to allow Chicago to get back into the game. The Bulls would tie the game coming out of the locker rooms to start the half. In fact, the game would be tied four times before the Pacers possessed the lead by a couple possessions. With 4 minutes to go in the quarter, Buddy Hield would nail a three to give the Pacers their largest lead of the night at 77-69. The two teams would exchange scores buckets the rest of the way. Indiana would lead 83-78 after 36-minutes of play. In total, Indiana turned the ball over seven times and go 2/7 from three. Haliburton paced Indiana in scoring with 6 points. DeRozan led the charge for Chicago with 8 points.
Going into the fourth quarter it felt like the Pacers were on the brink of going on a run to pull ahead and put the Bulls away for good, but Chicago would not go anywhere. They opened the quarter with a 10-3 to take their first lead at 88-86 since it was 44-43 in the second quarter. The two teams would be gridlocked at 99 with 4:05 to go, but the Bulls went on one small run to pull away. Chicago’s run was led by DeRozan and LaVine doing the scoring and Vucevic cleaning up the glass to go ahead 109-102 with 1:17 left. Indiana wouldn’t make a run to make a one possession game. Chicago would edge out the Pacers 112-105 after forcing a total of four turnovers in the quarter. In the quarter Indiana went 6/26 (23%) from the field and 4/16 (25%) from distance.
TOP PERFORMERS: Nikola Vucevic (24p, 17r, 3a), Zach LaVine (23p, 5r), DeMar DeRozan (20p, 4a), Myles Turner (20p, 11r, 2b), and Tyrese Haliburton (19p, 13a, 2s). For tonight’s full box score, click here.
NOTES: Tyrese Haliburton registered his third consecutive double double. The longest streak in Haliburton’s young career is seven games. Myles Turner recorded his second straight double double and his career long is four games on three different occasions (twice last season). Nikola Vucevic’s 17 rebounds ties a career high against the Pacers (third time).
NEXT UP: Indiana will go on the road for a quick one game road trip before returning to Gainbridge Fieldhouse for five straight games. Indiana will head to Boston to take on the Celtics (3-0) at 7:30pm eastern Wednesday night. The Kroger Pregame show with Pat Boylan will air at 7pm eastern on 93.5/107.5 The Fan.
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