The Indiana Pacers held a 20-point lead in the third quarter on Friday night. And they would need every single one of those points to hold off a furious rally by the Chicago Bulls. Derrick Rose led the charge with 28 of his career-high 42 points in the second half.
Derrick Rose drew the foul on Darren Collison behind the arc and buried all three free-throws to tie the game, 102-102.
Surely, in Derrick’s mind, was the memory of the game-saving free-throw he missed in a game against the L.A. Clippers earlier this season. He was not about to let history repeat itself.
Then, Rose avoided tripping over Collison and blocked Danny Granger’s three-point attempt at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
But the Pacers managed to put the game away in OT. The Bulls’ rebounding and defense were sub-par on this night. Despite Rose’s efforts, and a stellar 8-point/16-rebound performance by Taj Gibson, Indiana knocked off the Bulls, 115-108.
This was the first loss the Bulls have endured against a fellow Central division team— now with a 12-1 record this season cumulatively against the Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Luckily, the Bulls retain their hold on the first seed in the Eastern Conference as the Boston Celtics also lost on Friday night, to the Houston Rockets.
Tyler Hansbrough dominated tonight for the Pacers with 29 points and 12 rebounds.