Arena Sportsnet

Pacers Run By Bulls

INDIANAPOLIS – Victor Oladipo’s return to the lineup sparked the Indiana Pacers (20-19) as they held the visiting Bulls to 11 points in the second period and ran away to a 125-86 win on Saturday night. The win ends a five game losing streak for the Pacers and sent the Chicago Bulls (14-26) to their fourth loss in five games.

Oladipo added six rebounds and five steals in his return after missing the previous four games.

Domantas Sabonis added 22 points, and TJ Leaf had 15.

But it was Oladipo who stole the show and led a surge to put the game away by halftime.

Four of Oladipo’s steals came on consecutive possession during a 16-2 run in the first quarter. He broke away after his fourth steal and made a two-handed dunk to make it 24:17 with 4:51 left in period and then looked into the stands with both arms up to signify he was back after a stretch the seemed longer than four games.

The big run in the opening quarter ended with a technical free throw by Darren Collison and a basket by Sabonis to take a 31-19 lead with 2:43 remaining in the first period. They went on a 14-0 run in the second quarter to go ahead 48-28.

Thaddeus Young scored on a turnaround hook shot to give the Pacers a 64-37 halftime lead.

Bobby Portis had 15 points, and Denzel Valentine and Lauri Markkanen each had 13 points and five rebounds for the Bulls. Opponents have shot 49.3 percent against Chicago over the last five games. The Pacers finished 55.8 percent from the field.

”The bottom line is (Indiana) looked comfortable all night,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. ”They brought the fight to us tonight. They got into us right away. We didn’t handle it well.”

The Pacers host the Bucks on Monday next while the Bulls host Western Conference power Houston at the United Center.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *