Bulls hope to cure road woes in Central Division clash vs. Pacers
(Sports Network) - There's been a stark contrast between the way Chicago plays
on the road and at home, and the Bulls will aim to solve their recent woes as
the visitor tonight against the Indiana Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Chicago is an outstanding 17-3 in the Windy City this season, but has lost
three straight on the road and owns an 8-10 record outside the United Center.
It began a brief two-game trek with Wednesday's 96-91 setback in Charlotte, as
Carlos Boozer led the way with 23 points and 14 rebounds for his 11th double-
double in his last 13 games.
"We can't be one of those teams that has slow starts and rely on ourselves to
come back," said Boozer. "We gotta be a team that [starts fast]. It's
something we have to clean up."
Luol Deng scored 22 and Derrick Rose had 17 points and seven assists for the
Central Division-leading Bulls, who had a two-game winning streak stopped and
lost for the third time in five tries.
Indiana has won back-to-back games since losing three straight and six of
seven contests, and will wrap up a brief two-game homestand Friday night.
In Wednesday's improbable 102-89 win over the Dallas Mavericks, Brandon Rush
scored a game-high 20 points, while Danny Granger and Darren Collison both
finished with 17 for the Pacers, who improved to 10-9 in Indy this season.
"I'm proud of the intensity and effort put forth the last two games," Pacers
coach Jim O'Brien said. "It's two quality back-to-back wins for our team."
Paul George registered a career-high 16 points off the bench in a winning
cause. The Pacers beat Dallas for only the second time in 11 tries and also
took advantage of a Dirk Nowitzki-less Mavs squad. Nowitzki has been sidelined
with a knee injury. Indiana's bench has now produced 30-plus points in four of
its last six games and is averaging 32.0 ppg over that time.
Collison is posting 17.2 ppg in his last six outings.
The Bulls defeated Indiana, 92-73, on Dec. 13 this season in the Second City
and were led by Boozer's 22 points and 18 rebounds. Rose logged 17 points, 12
assists and six rebounds in that one for Chicago, which has won six of the
past nine matchups in this series.
Indiana, however, is 20-4 in the past 24 encounters with its Central Division
rivals at Conseco Fieldhouse