So, about that whole “Pacers are going to throttle someone” thing. It happened. They went on a 15-0 run in the early third quarter and controlled the game most of the rest of the way. This was, predictably, a bit of a slog, but the Bulls were in through two quarters. They’ve now lost the two games in Indy by a combined 29 points this season. These two teams play again on Monday, in Chicago, so we’ll see just what home court advantage really means. Then again, Bulls fans should know more than anyone not to judge a playoff series by regular season meetings.
The Bulls were led in scoring by Jimmy Butler (5-11, 17 pts, 5 steals) and DJ Augustin (6-14, 17 pts). Joakim Noah (5-15, 12 pts, 13 reb, 6 ast, 4 stl) and Carlos Boozer (5-14, 10 pts, 5 reb) were the other major contributors for the Bulls, who fall to 38-31 on the season. For Boozer, tonight marks a bit of a milestone for him.
Carlos Boozer enters during the 4th quarter for the first time since Feb 19 at Toronto (16 games).
— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) March 22, 2014
Of course, he only saw these minutes because Taj Gibson fouled out, but still. Progress!
The Pacers were led by Luis Scola (9-12, 19 pts, 6 reb), Lance Stephenson (7-11, 15 pts), and Roy Hibbert (3-10, 12 pts, 11 reb, 4 blk). Paul George (3-13, 10 pts, 12 reb, 10 ast), David West (4-9, 10 pts, 6 reb), and George Hill (3-10, 10 pts) all tallied in double figures for the Pacers, who now need just one more victory to clinch the Central Division title. It’s still March.
Maybe they’re less in danger of losing in the first round than we thought.
Player(s) of the Game: Jimmy Butler.