The Indiana Pacers lost four straight games after gaining a double-digit lead, but this streak did not continue to five games against the lowly Chicago Bulls as the Pacers cruised to an easy 105-87 win.
“We came out and played hard the whole game,” Victor Oladipo, who led the team in scoring with 25 points and added six rebounds and six assists, said after the game.
The Pacers won with strong defense near the rim which has been a rarity for this group as they routinely give up 50+ in the paint so far this season. Tonight, the Bulls scored just 38 paint points and shot 39.8% from the field.
Bojan Bogdanovic had one of his best shooting nights as a Pacer with six 3-pointers including three straight in the first three minutes of the second half that seemed to put any worries of another second-half collapse to bed right away.
Domas Sabonis returned to action after missing two straight games and had eight points and nine rebounds. Myles Turner added 11 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
The young big men shared the floor for a few more minutes than normal in the second half and the Pacers played well in that stretch. A good sign for the future of the team.
McMillan strangely played many starters and key rotation players until there were less than two minutes remaining despite the large lead.
The only somewhat reasonable explanation was wanting to see his team play a full 48 minutes after many second-half let downs, but it was still strange to see against the lottery-bound Bulls.
Thad Young also added 13 points and eight rebounds.
Bad Lance made an appearance in the first half with some ugly dribbling and a terrible turnover, but Good Lance showed up in the second half with a nice dribble drive and finish with the left hand. He finished with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting.