The Indiana Pacers gave the Chicago Bulls all they could handle in last year's NBA playoffs, and though Friday night's preseason game was slightly less important than those battles this past April, the two nonetheless played another hard fought match up, with the Bulls coming out on top 95-86.
The Bulls were led by reigning MVP Derrick Rose, who scored 16 points in just over 28 minutes of play. That said, Rose had his struggles, turning the ball over six times (compared to four assists) and only shooting 3-9 from the field (he went 10-10 from the line). Luol Deng was right with Rose, putting up 16 points himself, to go along with 6 rebounds, although he also had an inconsistent night, turning the ball over five times.
And it was those turnovers (typical for preseason play) that kept the Pacers in the game. The Bulls outshot the Pacers from the field, three point line and free throw stripe by considerable margins, but handed the ball over six more times than Indiana.
The two teams will meet again in Indiana on Tuesday, Dec. 20, in both teams' final game of the abbreviated 2011 preseason. The Bulls open the season on Christmas Day vs. Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
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