The Chicago Bulls used a big 2nd quarter to pull away from the Indiana Pacers and improve to 2-0 early in the 2016-17 season. The made nine changes to their roster this off season with three of those changes being to the starting line up. With all those moves you might think the Bulls would struggle at the start of the season, but not so far. It’s just two games, but it’s two games and two wins against two teams that where predicted to make the Eastern Conference playoffs.
It was a tight 1st quarter with the teams being tied 8 different times before the Bulls where able to gain a four point advantage 24-20 at the end of the quarter. The Bulls had a 3-point lead with 9:52 left in the 2nd quarter and then went on a 16-point run to pull away from the Pacers. The Bulls outscored Indiana 38-21 and went into halftime with a 21-point lead 62 to 41. The 3rd quarter was pretty evenly matched, but the Bulls found a way to add 4 more points to their lead outscoring the Pacers 30-26. With the score 92-67 heading into the 4th quarter Jimmy Butler, Dwayne Wade and Rajon Rondo where given the 4th quarter off. With those three on the bench the Pacers manage to cut the lead to 11 points at 112-101, but there was just two minutes left in the game. The Pacers did outscore the Bulls in the 4th quarter 34-26, but the Bulls scored the final 6 points of the game to get to the 118-101 final score.
Doug McDermott came off the Bulls bench and made five of the six 3-pointers he took as he led the Bulls in scoring with 23 points. Jimmy Butler had 16, points Dwayne Wade scored 14 points while Taj Gibson and Robin Lopez each added 12 points. Gibson also grabbed a game high 8 rebounds. While Rondo may have been the only Bulls starter to not score in double figures he did hand a game high 13 assists. Isaiah Canaan added 11 points off the bench as well for the Bulls.
The Pacers where led in scoring by Myles Turner and Paul George who each tallied 20 points. Joe Young and Glen Robinson III came off the Pacers bench to each score 11 points. Thaddeus Young also scored in double figures scoring 10 points and grabbing a team high 5 rebounds. Jeff Teague Had a rough night shooting the basketball going 0 for 7 in the game as well as missing the only 3-point shot he took. While Teague didn’t score in the game he did hand out 8 assists to lead the team in that category.
On Monday the 2-0 Bulls play there first road game of the season as they head to Brooklyn to take on the Nets. The Pacers who fell to 1-2 with the loss Head home to host the Los Angeles Lakers.