Boozer, Deng lead Bulls past Pacers, 110-89
CHICAGO – Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Derrick Rose scored 20 points despite two stomach ulcers and the Chicago Bulls beat the struggling Indiana Pacers 110-89 on Saturday night.
Luol Deng added 19 points after scoring 26 the previous night against Orlando, and the Bulls improved to 11-0 against Central teams while remaining the lone unbeaten team against its own division.
They got a major scare, though, about 3 minutes into the fourth quarter when Taj Gibson had to be helped off after crashing to the court with a right ankle injury. He hit the back of teammate Ronnie Brewer's foot and landed awkwardly as Indiana's Danny Granger drove the lane.
By then, the Bulls were in control and the Pacers were headed toward their seventh loss in eight games.
Josh McRoberts led Indiana with a career-high 20 points but was also a victim of a ferocious dunk by Brewer in the closing minutes that led to a technical for him and an ejection for coach Jim O'Brien.
Brewer threw down a ferocious two-hander off a feed from Deng despite taking a shot to the face. As Brewer completed the three-point play, McRoberts had his arm up high and was initially called for a hostile play while jockeying for the rebound with Boozer.
That call got downgraded to a technical but not before coach Jim O'Brien got ejected after walking on the court and picking up his second technical.
Kyle Korver (16 points) hit two free throws to make it 102-82 with 3:23 left in the game.
Rose came on strong after a slow start, scoring all but five of his points in the second half. He scored 11 in the third quarter after hitting one of seven shots in the first half, starting it with a pair of jumpers and ending it by burying a 3 off the dribble, making it 77-72.
He kept it going in the fourth, banking in a fadeaway jumper and nailed another shot a minute into the period to make it 81-72.
It wasn't an easy week for Rose, who started feeling ill early on and was diagnosed by doctors at Rush University Medical Center on Wednesday.
Even so, he decided to play against Orlando on Friday night and although he finished with 22 points and 12 assists in a win, he was just 6 of 21 from the field against the Magic.
He gutted it out again on Saturday even though he was still "feeling really beat up" and "fatigued."
He can barely eat, he's living off protein shakes, and he acknowledged some time off might help. But he also said, "This is the NBA. You've got to tough it out."
NOTES: Pacers F Tyler Hansbrough missed his second straight game because of pneumonia. "We thought we'd have him today because we shot him up with antibiotics yesterday," coach O'Brien said. "He can't go. He wants to go. He wanted to go last night. But our medical staff is not permitting him to play." ... In a nod to Rose saying spicy food caused his ulcers, O'Brien said in jest when asked how to contain the guard: "You've got to offer him some spicy Nachos before the game." ... McRoberts' previous high was 18 points against Houston on April 4.