- Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer
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How it happened: Paul George went off for a triple-double, scoring 10 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and passing out 10 assists, while Luis Scola chipped in with 19 points off the Pacers' bench as Indiana tightened up its defense down the stretch. D.J. Augustin and Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 17 points apiece, but the Bulls' offense created too big of a hole to crawl out of with a poor third-quarter performance.
What it means: This is exactly the type of game the Bulls can expect in the playoffs. Whether they play the Pacers or not at some point remains to be seen, but this was the type of hard-nosed, physical game it always is between these two teams. The defense was tough and the points were hard to come by. The difference was that the Bulls' offense disappeared for too long of a stretch during the third quarter, and it cost them. When they play against elite teams, the Bulls can't afford to be beaten up and down the floor on both ends.
Hits: Lance Stephenson had a nice game for the Pacers, scoring 15 points while shooting 7-for-11 from the field.
Misses: As a team, the Bulls shot just 36.4 percent from the field.
Stats of the night: The Pacers outscored the Bulls 31-19 in the third quarter. The Pacers led 44-43 at halftime.
What's next: The Bulls are right back at it Saturday night when they take on the visiting Philadelphia 76ers.
16dMatt Walks, ESPN.com