It was a blistering start to the game for the Indiana Pacers.
After losing in Chicago 11 days ago, the Pacers came out with a chip on their shoulder. The Pacers started out the game with a 17-2 run in the first quarter and hit the Chicago Bulls right in the mouth. It was a punch the Bulls had to fight back from all game long.
But it was a perfect first quarter from Indiana as they put 30 points in the first frame as they held a 30-18 advantage. Paul George, who had a great game with 33 points and eight rebounds, had nine points in the first quarter. C.J. Miles added nine as well for Indiana.
The Bulls looked out of sync all night long and the first quarter was just the beginning. Chicago shot 37 percent from the field in the first quarter and scored just 18 points. The real problem for the Bulls was the turnovers and Indiana feasted on the turnovers all game long.
Chicago was still struggling in the second quarter, shooting 31 percent from the field, when two back-to-back three's by Kirk Hinrich got the Bulls back into the game. Hinrich, who is playing more minutes due to an injury to Aaron Brooks, ended up leaving the game with a hip pointer but played well in the minutes he was on the court. After not playing much to begin the season, the veteran could be in line for more minutes if he can stay healthy. Thanks to Hinrich, the Bulls only went into the half down 51-42 as they were outplayed by the Pacers in every minute of the first half.
The Bulls came out with some pep in their steps as they tried to cut into Indiana's lead. Nikola Mirotic, who had 25 points to lead Chicago in scoring, tried to lead the comeback with a big third quarter. But sadly for the Bulls, he was the only one hitting the net as the offensive struggles continued for Chicago. The Bulls got within four with a few minutes left in the third, but a 6-1 run by the Pacers pushed the lead back to ten as the quarter ended.
The fourth quarter was all Pacers as both Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose struggled heavily from the field. Butler and Rose went 8-for-26 from the field as the entire Bulls team had a bad night shooting the ball.
Indiana's big advantage was points in the paint (42-to-28) and taking advantage of Chicago's turnover's - of the Bulls 15 turnovers, the Pacers scored 20 points.
The last few minutes were filled with bench players getting some extra minutes as the Pacers held on for the 104-92 victory. Indiana jumped Chicago in the Eastern Conference standings to the number two spot.