Despite solid outings Sunday night, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah didn't have enough to usher the Bulls past the rival Indiana Pacers, falling 97-92.
Derrick Rose finally emerged from the shadows and sat with his Bulls teammates on the bench in Sunday night’s 97-92 loss to the Indiana Pacers on the road. It was the first time D. Rose has been seen on the sidelines with his teammates since tearing his ACL last April and only the second time he’s been visible during a game this season.
D. Rose was spotted engaging with his squad, talking to teammates and even standing at points during what was an exciting game. Despite the loss, it was an encouraging sign to see Rose out there, which – although there is still no timetable – puts him that much closer to returning to action.
The Bulls showed a lot of fight against the rival Pacers. Marco Belinelli (20 points, five assists) and Jimmy Butler (20 points, four rebounds) led the Bulls in scoring with Butler notching a new career high. Joakim Noah (14 points, 10 rebounds) put up yet another double-double and Luol Deng (15 points, five assists) was a solid contributor as well. The Bulls were a +4 scoring in the paint (38-34), +3 in fastbreak points (8-5) and forced the Pacers into 15 turnovers and scored 20 points. Led by Butler, Chicago’s bench dominated Indiana’s, 31-8.
Sometime between Saturday night’s win over Brooklyn and Sunday’s contest, Kirk Hinrich injured his toe and was sidelined yet again. Hinrich was sporting a walking boot at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and doesn’t know when the injury occurred. Rip Hamilton was also out and didn’t accompany the team to Indianapolis. As for the game, the Pacers outrebounded the Bulls 42-34 and had no answer for David West (31 points, seven rebounds) while allowing double-doubles from Paul George (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Roy Hibbert (18 points, 10 rebounds).
Carlos Boozer (six points, two rebounds) had a rare off night while Nate Robinson (six points, six assists) struggled in the starting lineup in place of Hinrich. The pair combined to shoot just 5-15 from the field and didn’t see a second of action in the fourth quarter, despite the Bulls needing scoring late in the game. Rookie Marquis Teague (two points, three assists) struggled offensively in his hometown, shooting 1-5 from the field, despite playing nearly 28 minutes in the game.
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