On a night where Indiana’s star Victor Olidipo was out with a sore right knee, the Bulls didn’t miss their chance against the shorthanded Pacers, breezing past them by a score of 119-107.
It wasn’t all great for the Bulls either on the injury front, Kris Dunn sat out the game with left patella tendinitis. He should be back soon.
The Bulls got out to an early 11-2 lead and never looked back. The lead for Chicago never dipped below seven points in the entire second half. The Pacers’ defense was a cause for concern all night as different players from the Bulls carried the load offensively at different points in the contest. Center Robin Lopez scored 10 of his 12 points in the first quarter, Nikola Mirotic poured in eight of his 28 in the first half of the second quarter.
The Bulls defense was mediocre at best, giving up 107 points to a team without its superstar. They allowed veteran point guard Darren Collison to score 30 points, tying his season high in that category.
But the real star of the game came from the Bulls and it was the rookie, Lauri Markkanen. He scored a season and career-best 32 points which included a highlight putback dunk over Pacers forward, Bojan Bogdanovic, which you can see Here .Markkanen shot 11-17 from the field and 5-9 from three. He also converted all five of his opportunities from the free throw line. Markkanen grabbed seven rebounds too.
The Bulls were on fire all night from beyond the arc as they poured in 18 triples, tying a franchise record. They shot 46 percent from downtown.
The Bulls are back at it tomorrow when they face the Wizards on the road at 2:30 pm, in search of their fourth straight victory.
Bulls: Lauri Markkanen 32 pts. 7 reb. Nikola Mirotic 28 pts.
Pacers: Darren Collison 30 pts. 5 ast. Lance Stephenson 18 pts. 9 reb.