The Chicago Bulls squared off with the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, because that's what you do in a field house. After a mutual showcase of tough defense and terrible offense from both sides, the Pacers came away with a gritty 97-80 victory. They remained the league's only unbeaten team, and it's the first time since joining the NBA that they have started 5-0.
Meanwhile, Chicago plummeted to 1-3.
The Bulls went running in the second quarter, outscoring the Pacers 14-2 in the first six-and-a-half minutes with Indy shooting 1-of-12 from the field. Then the Pacers "erupted" for 10 more points and trailed 43-37 at the break. Jimmy Butler was held without a field goal in the first half, and Joakim Noah never found the bottom of the net.
The offensive woes transferred teams at the half, and the Bulls got an awful start to the third quarter. Indy opened up a 19-8 run as Chicago missed 12 of its first 14 shots in that frame. The Bulls pulled closer and even managed a 69-67 lead with under seven minutes remaining in the game.
That's when the Pacers, who struggled from the field all night long, busted out a devastating 10-0 run courtesy of Lance Stephenson and Luis Scola of all people. Things got completely out of hand for Chicago from there, as they fell by 17.
The savvy veteran Scola left his imprint on the game with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting. George Hill did not dress for Indiana due to a sore hip, so former Bull C.J. Watson started at point guard and scored 11 points. Roy Hibbert blocked five shots in the game as Chicago could not solve Indy's D, finishing with a 35.6 shooting percentage.
The Bulls also got out-rebounded 52-40 and outscored 28-14 in the paint, not to mention their 17 turnovers.
Read on for grades and analysis on the entire Bulls rotation.