Bulls Stop Pacers In Their Tracks
(WSCR) – The Chicago Bulls are dominating the Central Division and facing he second place Pacers was no challenge to them. Chicago took an early lead and kept it.
Derrick Rose had 29 points and a season-high 10 rebounds to help the Chicago Bulls beat the Indiana Pacers 99-86 Friday night.
Rose, who scored 20 points in the second half, also had five assists. Luol Deng had 17 points and five assists, Carlos Boozer scored 14 points and Kurt Thomas had a season-high 18 rebounds.
Danny Granger scored 22 points for the Pacers, but he shot 4 for 17 in the first three quarters when the game was in doubt. Mike Dunleavy scored 13 points and Jeff Foster had a season-high 15 rebounds for Indiana, which failed to notch its first three-game winning streak of the season.
Chicago held the Pacers to 33 percent shooting and is 2-0 against Indiana this season. The Bulls won the first meeting 92-73 in Chicago when Granger sat out with a sprained ankle.
The Bulls held the Pacers to 33 percent shooting in the first half and led 53-41 at the break. Indiana helped Chicago by missing numerous layups.
The Bulls extended their lead to 60-46 on a 3-pointer by Rose. Indiana trimmed its deficit to nine points and had a fast break going, but Brandon Rush missed everything on a hurried 3-pointer, and Taj Gibson converted a 3-point play on the other end to make it 66-54. On Chicago’s next possession, Rose made a 3-pointer and was fouled, prompting MVP chants from the thousands of Bulls fans who made the short drive. He completed the four-point play to push Chicago’s lead to 70-54.
Indiana surged again, and a jumper by Granger made it 70-61. But Chicago responded with a 7-0 run to re-establish control for good. Rose scored 12 points in the third quarter to help the Bulls lead 79-63 at the end of the period.
The Bulls led by 14 in the final minute when the half-filled arena, with mostly Chicago fans remaining, gave the Bulls a standing ovation.
NOTES: Chicago G Keith Bogans committed two fouls in the first 1:44 of the game. … Indiana F Josh McRoberts played four minutes after coach Jim O’Brien sat him for four games while using other players. … Deng was issued a technical foul with 8:08 left in the second quarter. … Indiana F Hansbrough started his fifth straight game.
AP Sports Writer Cliff Brunt contributed to this story
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