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Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Pacers 80, Bulls 76

By Nick Friedell

CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Indiana Pacers squeaked out an 80-76 win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night at the United Center.

How it happened: Paul George played on a different level in this one. He was awesome. The young forward scored 34 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the Pacers won one of the ugliest games of the year. Nate Robinson scored 19 points, but made several costly mistakes down the stretch. Luol Deng added 17 points while Carlos Boozer chipped in 14 points and 10 rebounds.

What it means: This was a poorly played basketball game to put it mildly. The Bulls offense sputtered throughout the game and they had no answer for George. The issue for the Bulls in this one, and likely for weeks to come, is just how much they miss Rip Hamilton. Marco Belinelli and Jimmy Butler played hard, but they left a lot to be desired on the offensive end. Without Hamilton on the floor, and without Derrick Rose for a while, the Bulls just don't have many playmakers that they can consistently count on. Hamilton's absence is much more glaring than most thought it would be.

Hits: Butler wasn't great offensively but he was very active on the boards, pulling down nine rebounds.

Misses: Taj Gibson was 0-for-5 from the field. He is still struggling to find his jumper.

Stats of the night: The Bulls shot 38 percent from the field and turned the ball over 19 times.

What's next: The Bulls are right back at it Wednesday night when they face off against the Cleveland Cavaliers.