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LaVine, Bulls Best Pacers in OT, 120-112

Zach LaVine continued to make his case for the All-Star game as the Bulls edged out the Pacers in overtime.

Bulls Pacers
Photo: NBCSBulls/Twitter

The Bulls fought for a well-deserved victory against the Indiana Pacers as they won in overtime by a score of 120-112 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Zach LaVine continued to make his case for the NBA All-Star game as he led all scorers with 30 points. Thaddeus Young put up a double-double off the bench with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Coby White also turned in a solid performance, contributing 19 points along with eight assists and seven rebounds. Garrett Temple added 16 points.

Domantas Sabonis (25 points, ten rebounds) and Malcolm Brogdon (23 points, 15 rebounds) both pulled in double-doubles in the loss for the Pacers.

The Setup

The Pacers were looking for their third consecutive victory against the Bulls on Monday night and were trying to stay above .500 on the season. Indiana was coming off a road victory against the struggling Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night where they put in an impressive fourth-quarter shift, scoring 41 points and erasing a nine-point deficit in the final frame.

The Bulls were looking to bounce back from a loss against the Clippers on Friday, their seventh in the team’s last ten games.

Caris LeVert (medical condition) and T.J. Warren (foot) remained sidelined for the Pacers while Otto Porter Jr. (back) and Lauri Markkanen (shoulder) were out with injuries for the Bulls.

Back-And-Forth Affair

There were five lead changes in the opening quarter alone as neither team could gain a foothold over the other. The largest lead for either team was only five points until the second quarter, where the Bulls extended their lead to eight.

LaVine led the charge for the Bulls in the first half, scoring 13 points. Wendell Carter Jr. (11 points, nine rebounds) also had a very good first half in his first game back from injury, contributing seven points and seven rebounds in the first half.

While no Pacer managed to get into double digits by halftime, Brogdon, Sabonis, and Myles Turner (11 points, six rebounds) all added nine points for Indiana.

Overall, both teams struggled in the first half, shooting 38% from the field and no more than 23% from the three-point line. The Bulls held a five-point lead at halftime with the score at 49-44.

Pair of Pacers Comebacks

The Bulls did end up extending their lead into double digits as a Garrett Temple jumper put his team up 58-47 with 8:48 remaining. However, the Pacers would make a game of it. Indiana went on a 17-4 run and took the lead just five minutes later, capped off by a Justin Holiday (15 points) three-pointer with 3:21 remaining.

But a couple of key shots from Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young spurred the Bulls to a 9-0 run of their own as they took a nine-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Pacers then outscored the Bulls by nine in the final frame, despite a quarter-high 12 points from Zach LaVine, including this ridiculous three-pointer over Sabonis.

Indiana utilized the charity stripe by shooting a perfect 10/10 from the free-throw line to help send the game into overtime.

Team Effort Helps the Bulls in OT

The Bulls got off to the better start in the extra period, helped greatly by their bench. Thaddeus Young and Denzel Valentine (11 points) combined for seven of the Bulls 15 points in overtime. Overall, the Bulls bench outscored Indiana’s 37-19 throughout the game.

Garrett Temple led all Bulls scorers in overtime with four points, including a big jump shot with 1:31 remaining to put the visitors up by seven. Both LaVine and Valentine hit a pair of free-throws in the final minute, putting the game out of reach for Indiana.

What’s On Tap Next

The Bulls (11-15) head to Charlotte for the second time this season as they face off against the Hornets (13-15) at the Spectrum Center on Wednesday. Tip-off is set for at 6:00 PM CST on NBC Sports Chicago.

As always, you can always catch up on the Bulls all season with articles, analysis, and podcasts from Bulls On Tap.


I love soccer. Write about Fire, Red Stars, U.S. National Teams, Chicago House, and more. Occasional writer for Bulls and Cubs. Follow me on Twitter (@just_wasik).

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