The fact that Derrick Rose’s best regular-season game thus far coincided with the Bulls’ (5-3) best offensive game of the campaign was nice, but doing it against the previously undefeated Pacers (9-1) made it even better. The Bulls, led by Rose’s six three-pointers, dominated Indiana on both ends of the floor, leading to a 110-94 win Saturday night at the United Center. “About time. I’ll keep shooting if they’re giving me shots,” Rose said. “I couldn’t feel my (sore right hamstring) while I was playing. “We’re just trying to come together as a team.” Rose (20 points, four assists) started the contest after missing Friday night’s win in Toronto and made an impact from the outset, hitting a floater and a three-pointer — two shots that he’s struggled with early in the regular season — on successive Bulls possessions. The point guard, who was also solid as a distributor, keyed a 10-0 Bulls run to give them a double-digit first-quarter cushion. “I think he’s getting close. He tweaked a hamstring, and I thought he hit a stretch in the Cleveland game, where in the third quarter, I thought he got into a nice rhythm,” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said before the contest, somewhat prophetically. “So I thought he was very, very close at that point. Each day just improve, it will come. He’s a great player, and it’s going to happen.” In a matchup of All-Star small forwards, Luol Deng (23 points, seven rebounds) got the best of Pacers counterpart Paul George (12 points on 3-of-14 shooting) in the early going, smothering the Indiana star on defense, while already reaching double figures with his aggressive scoring. Thanks to their balanced offense, feisty defense and transition scoring, the Bulls jumped out to a 31-20 lead at the conclusion of the opening period, despite a strong frame by the inside tandem of rugged veteran power forward David West (13 points, seven rebounds) and mammoth center Roy Hibbert (14 points, 10 rebounds).
Rose, Bulls halt Pacers' undefeated run with blowout win
CSN Chicago | Nov 17