The Chicago Bulls got back to their streak-busting ways on Saturday night in what was unquestionably their most impressive performance of the season, a dominating 110-94 home victory over the previously undefeated Pacers. The Bulls looked great on offense and even better on defense, setting the tone in the first quarter and taking a 25-point lead into halftime. From there, it was all just a formality.
The Bulls' offense has looked out of sync for the first seven games this season, but everything was clicking on Saturday. The Bulls were draining threes (11-of-19), finishing at the rim (12-point advantage in the paint) and sharing the ball freely.
Derrick Rose returned to the lineup after missing Friday night's game against the Raptors with a hamstring strain and finally had his breakout game. Rose was unconscious from three (6-of-11) scored a season-high 20 points. Maybe more impressively, he didn't turn the ball over the entire night. That's a major improvement for a player who entered fourth in the league in turnovers per game.
Rose was far from the only one dealing, as seven Bulls starters finished in double-figures. Luol Deng was feeling it all game, finishing with 23 points and seven rebounds on 8-of-14 shooting from the field. Taj Gibson was huge off the bench, particularly in the second quarter, and ended the night with 15 points and eight boards. Carlos Boozer and Kirk Hinrich each added 13 points while Mike Dunleavy and Jimmy Butler both dropped in 10 points.
Dropping 110 points on the league's best defense is no easy task, but the Bulls' defense might have been even more impressive. Indiana only had 35 points at halftime and shot under 33 percent from the field for the game. Paul George, who had scored over 20 points in every game this season, went 3-for-14 from the field and finished with only 10 points. Lance Stephenson was 5-for-14 to finish with 12 points. Even with a 35-point fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach, the Pacers shot only 40 percent from the field.
Great win, and one the Bulls desperately needed.