The Indiana Pacers led by as many as 13 points in the first half but the Bulls still made it interesting. Chicago tied up the game twice in the 4th quarter and even had a last second chance to send the game into overtime. The Pacers led by only 3 points with 7.0 left on the clock and the Bulls had a final possession to keep the game going. However, the Pacers forced a turnover securing the 97-92 victory.
“It’s a huge win. It’s someone who was the best in our division. They say to be the best you have to beat the best,” said Pacers guard George Hill who finished with 21 points.
The Pacers came up with big shots from a number of players down the stretch. In the fourth quarter Hill scored 8 straight points for the team while David West and Roy Hibbert combined forces in the paint. West finished with a game-high 31 points while Hibbert added a double-double, 18 points and 10 rebounds.
“Our offense is coming along and we’re shooting a little better. I knew that once we locked down on defense, and got a little space, we’d be alright,” said Hibbert.
The win did have a setback. Pacers forward Danny Granger left the game in the 2nd quarter with soreness in his left knee, he would not return. That is the same knee which kept the Pacers star sidelined for 55 games this season.
“He said he had some soreness and they were being precautionary with it,” said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel.
The victory symbolic for Vogel who in just his third season with the Pacers notched his 100th career win as head coach.
“It’s exciting for the franchise. It’s not a Frank Vogel milestone, it’s a milestone for this franchise and this team and how we have played. I was fortunate to step into a good team and I have really good assistant coaches,” said Vogel.
The Pacers improve to 38-22 with the win, next up for the team they host the Celtics on Wednesday night.