Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE
The Indiana Pacers closed the preseason with a 97-90 loss to the Chicago Bulls in South Bend, as part of an exciting preseason finale that had all the feeling of a regular season affair between the two teams, especially down the stretch where the Pacers struggled to close the deal. Poor rebounding doomed the Pacers early and often, as the Bulls jumped out to a double digit lead they would hold throughout the game.
The Pacers got most of their first half production from their centers, with Roy Hibbert and Ian Mahinmi punishing the Chicago front line, but second chance points were ruled by the Bulls, cutting short every Pacers comeback. David West led the Indiana charge in the fourth quarter as the Pacers would pull as close as three before Gerald Green, who struggled on the offense end late in the game, let Richard Hamilton loose for the game's dagger.
Indiana finishes the preseason 4-3, and will open the regular season on Wednesday in Toronto against the Raptors. No more practice games as the Pacers return to 0-0, beginning their trek for another year as an Eastern Conference contender.