The Bulls and the Pacers entered tonight’s game as the two worst teams in the NBA when it comes to defending the three-point shot, with Chicago allowing opponents to score 38.2 percent of their points from the perimeter and Indiana allowing a slightly worse 40.1 percent.
So, it was a perfect game to bank on the Bulls building on their improved three-point shooting from Monday night’s victory in Boston, and they did just that. By the time the first time out came, the Bulls were leading 16-8 with 12 points coming on a perfect 4-of-4 from deep and six of Indiana’s eight points coming from the same.
The hot shooting didn’t end there as the Bulls blew the doors off the Pacers in the first half, leading by double-digits for almost the entirety and taking a 76-57 lead into the locker room at halftime. The 38 points in the first quarter and 76 in the first half were season-highs for the Bulls, respectively.
Zach LaVine led the way for the Bulls in scoring in the first half with 16 points on 3-of-4 shooting from deep and 3-of-5 from the floor. He even had time to flush another shot (maybe) when he disappeared to the locker room with just under eight minutes in the second quarter, sending observant Bulls fans into a panic.
Just before LaVine’s trip to the locker room he was on the floor to witness this beauty of an alley-oop between Goran Dragic and Andre Drummond.
Indiana shot their way back into the game in the third quarter, hitting eight of their first 11 shots from the floor, outscoring the Bulls 26-16 to cut the lead down to nine with just over five to play in the quarter.
Thankfully, the Bulls recovered with a solid run, and the Pacers came back down to earth, shooting 20 percent in the final four minutes of the third quarter. An 8-0 run for the Bulls that pushed the lead back up to 12 was capped off with another monster alley-oop, this time between Goran Dragic and Javonte Green.
That would be the last time the Pacers seriously threatened as the Bulls pushed their lead back up to 13 midway through the third and beat Indiana 124-109.
Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 28 points and was joined by DeMar DeRozan (17), Nikola Vucevic (14), Ayo Dosunmu (12), and Patrick Williams (10) as all five starters were in double digits on the night, but the story here for the Bulls was the bench.
Goran Dragic led the way for the reserves with 13 points, five assists, and two rebounds in just 15:46 of playing time, hitting 55.6 percent of his shots and all three of his triples with two biggies coming down the stretch. The Bulls bench scored 43 points as a unit tonight.
Also, this is the new Dragic-Drummond bromance name as far as my money goes …
You can find the complete box score here!