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Pacers 117, Bulls 102: Pacers Bounce Back Nicely

Jamaal Tinsley and the Pacers rose up to beat the Bulls.
Check out the headless fans on the Club Level.

2007 NBAE (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Indiana Pacers picked up where they left off last night in Cleveland, falling behind the Chicago Bulls by 16 points early in the second quarter. But, instead of another one of "those" nights, the Pacers enjoyed a jump start from the bench, and flipped the lead around, eventually winning 117-102.

Quick thoughts on the game:
  • Kareem Rush deserves top billing tonight, finally hitting some shots as advertised. Rush finished with 22 points on 9-13 from the field and 3-6 from 3-land. He played a critical role as the Pacers put up 73 points in the second and third quarters combined. Big ups to O'B for continuing to give Rush minutes even as his shot struggled. I've mentioned before that Rush has been active on the defensive end when playing. Now, if he can get his shot rolling Rush can make a big contribution off the bench.
  • Marquis Daniels also gave the Pacers a huge lift off the bench. He hounded Ben Gordon on defense and made 8 of 10 field goal attempts to finish with 18 points while grabbing 7 rebounds. I might be wrong, but after one of Daniels' 3-balls, I swear Pacers' PA man, Reb Porter declared, "Quizee for threezee!"
  • Jamaal Tinsley put on an absolute clinic in the middle of the third quarter. He used and abused both Kirk Hinrich and Chris Duhon, doing most of his damage down in the post. JT's not only found ways to score in the post, but was actively pursing easy assists to teammates cutting through the lane.
  • Continuing with the roll call, Jermaine O'Neal finished with 18 and 9 rebounds. With Jeff Foster out, J.O. had to hold down the middle and did just fine, swatting away four Bulls' shots along the way. Fortunately, David Harrison was able to give 10 minutes of relief.
  • Mike Dunleavy caught fire in the third quarter, knocking down long jumpers and matching J.O.'s numbers with 18 and 9.
  • The Pacers had to fight their way back into the game in the second quarter. Unfortunately, Troy Murphy took it literally, mixing it up with Tyrus Thomas. After banging each other around during a few straight trips up and down the court, Murph gave a hard foul with a little shove than knocked the off-balance Thomas to the ground. Thomas jumped up and went at Murphy, hitting him in the face with an open hand. No one else was interested in joining the fray, so cooler heads prevailed. Both players were tossed for their efforts.
  • Can you imagine if a bigger brawl broke out involving the Pacers? It just couldn't. You could tell no one in white was even considering escalating the fracas. I think they all would have just stood there and just let the Bulls pound on them before beginning to fight back.
  • The crowd was announced at 10,381, but a head count would've come up short of that number. The number of empty lower bowl seats was staggering. Interesting move by the Marketing team, though. For whatever give away item they had tonight, they put it in a white bag with dark writing that hung on the back of the seat. It kind of looked like a t-shirt of a headless fan sitting in the seat. It might have looked better than the empty green seats, but there was no hiding the fact that the Fieldhouse crowd was sparse.
  • The Pacers have a day off before the Toronto Raptors visit the Fieldhouse on Friday. On the broadcast, it was mentioned that Jeff Foster thinks he'll be ready for the Raptors after missing his second game with back spasms.