Pacers Hand Bulls First Home Loss, 95-90
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CHICAGO (AP) – Danny Granger scored 22 points Wednesday night and the Indiana Pacers became the first visiting team to win on Chicago’s home floor this season, beating the Bulls 95-90.
Roy Hibbert added 20 points, including a key dunk after a mad scramble that gave the Pacers a four-point lead with 13 seconds to go. The Pacers, who lost to the Bulls in a heated opening round of the playoffs last spring, trailed by 10 at the half Wednesday night.
The Bulls, missing injured starting forward Luol Deng (torn ligament left wrist), are 16-4 and 8-1 at home. Derrick Rose led Chicago with 24 points but had only two in the final quarter. Ronnie Brewer, who started for Deng, scored 20 and grabbed 10 rebounds.
David West had a basket and a dunk and the Pacers forged a five-point lead early in the final quarter.
Indiana kept it a five-point margin when Paul George made a nice crossover dribble and roared into the lane for a dunk with just over 6 minutes remaining. Granger’s jumper increased the lead to seven with about four minutes left.
Chicago quickly sliced it to three on a tip-in by Carlos Boozer and then a dunk by Joakim Noah following an Indiana turnover. .
Brewer’s two free throws with 1:33 left cut the Pacers lead to 90-88. But West made a runner across the lane before Chicago’s Richard Hamilton hit two from the line with 57 seconds remaining to make it 92-90 Pacers.
Chicago’s Brian Scalabrine missed a jumper from the corner, Noah saved the ball and after a wild scramble at the other end, the Pacers got the ball to Hibbert, who dunked with 13 seconds to go.
Rose showed no sign of a sprained left big toe that has caused him to miss time this season. He hit a 3-pointer at the first quarter buzzer but it was waved off after officials reviewed the video and saw that Rose didn’t release the ball in time.
As the half was nearing its end, Rose blocked a shot, got the rebound and made a long pass to Hamilton for a layup and subsequent three-point play that gave the Bulls a 10-point lead as they closed the half on a 14-5 run.
But the Pacers came out flying in the third quarter. Paul George hit a 3-pointer and Granger broke free for two baskets and Indiana quickly chopped the lead to two.
The Pacers finally regained the lead on another hook by Hibbert, but Rose responded with a three-point play. West’s free throw with less than a second to go put Indiana up 75-74 after three.
NOTES: Indiana’s A.J. Price did not make the trip because of strep throat and neither did Jeff Foster, who is bothered by a sore lower back. … Chicago backup Taj Gibson missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle.
(© 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.)