After having a poor first quarter in their loss to the Charlotte Hornets, the Chicago Bulls had another poor first quarter against the Indiana Pacers.
Indiana got off to a quick start thanks to a big first quarter by Paul George. George had 15 as Indiana scored 34 first quarter points to give them the 34-24 lead at the end of the quarter.
It was another poor defensive effort by the Bulls as they allowed 56 percent shooting by Indiana and gave up another 30-point quarter. They gave up 33 to Charlotte in the first quarter and did it again tonight. It seemed like Chicago would be in for another rough game on defense.
The only positive from the quarter was Nikola Mirotic scoring 11 points in the quarter as he went 3 of 4 from downtown. After starting over Joakim Noah, Mirotic responded with a great first quarter.
But the second quarter was a different story as the benches had some playing time to begin the quarter. That is when the Bulls bench took over.
The Pacers only scored 11 points in the period, as they were severely outplayed by the Bulls bench. The Bulls rode the momentum as their bench scored 20 points in the quarter and went into halftime with a 46-45 lead.
The Bulls came out hot in the third quarter as well. After giving up a 30-plus point first quarter, they scored 32 in the third quarter as Mirotic and Aaron Brooks provided some offensive pop for the Bulls. E'Twaun Moore also had some solid minutes for Chicago as he is making a case for some more minutes in the regular season. Fred Hoiberg said he was going to split the minutes more evenly so Moore could be in line for more minutes. They headed into the fourth quarter with a 77-69 lead.
Indiana tried to come out with a run at the beginning of the fourth, but it was all Chicago by then. It was the Aaron Brooks show as he hit big threes in the fourth to see off Indiana, 103-94.
It was good to see Jimmy Butler score double digit points but again he had a poor shooting night as he went 4 of 14 from the field. After a great opening night, Butler has failed to show the offensive shooting touch that he had last year. The Bulls will be hoping he bounces back against Dallas in the pre-season finale.
Hoiberg has said that he hasn't decided on the season opener starting lineup, but the starting lineup against Dallas could tell a lot. Joakim Noah came off the bench and it could be something that he will have to get used to as Hoiberg started Mirotic over him.
It was a good bounce back game for Chicago. After a poor first quarter, they came back and played a solid three quarters against Indiana.