On Saturday night, the Chicago Bulls and the Indiana Pacers faced off in the latter half of their back-to-back series. Indiana came in with an undefeated 9-0 record, but the Bulls managed to play a highly efficient game. As a result, they became the first team of the season to defeat the Pacers in a 110-94 win.
Derrick Rose also returned after sitting out the Bulls’ 96-80 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Chicago set the tone early in the first quarter, and it carried on throughout the entirety of the half. They shot 54.8% from the field and 85.7% on three-pointers. The success from downtown was mostly a result of Rose. He had 14 points in the first half, 12 of which came from threes. Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich joined Rose in double-digit point totals with 14 and 11, respectively. Overall, the Bulls offense flowed very well, and they weren’t forcing shots.
On the defensive end, Chicago’s identify was solidified holding the Pacers to 31.4% shooting from the field. Along with that, they achieved to gather six total blocks in the half.
Coming into the second half, both teams started off in an offensive rut. However, just as in the first half, the Bulls were able to find their offensive rhythm and maintained their tough defensive play. Although the opposing teams each scored 24 points in the third quarter, Chicago was able to extend their lead to as much as 33 points.
Indiana was able to find some offense when Chris Copeland entered the game though. The Pacers outscored the Bulls 35-26 in the final quarter, while Copeland contributed 10 of those points. But in the end, it was just too much for Indiana to overcome. They dug themselves into too big of a hole, and the Bulls still had some offense left in them.
Deng led all players in scoring with 23 points along with seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Rose followed with 20 points, three rebounds, four assists, and one steal. Of Rose’s 20 points, 18 of them came off of threes. As a whole, Chicago ended the night shooting 50.6% from the field as well as a whopping 57.9% on threes.
The Bulls now own a record of 5-3. Next on their schedule is their home game on Monday, Nov. 18. They will take on the Charlotte Bobcats at 7 p.m. central.