Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 10/31

Game 1: Wednesday, October 31st
Game 2: Friday, December 7th
Game 3: Friday, January 11th
Game 4: Monday, January 21st

Pacers 93

(22-21, 10-13 away)

Bulls 81

(8-32, 7-14 home)

2:30 PM ET, January 21, 2002

United Center, Chicago, IL

1 2 3 4 T
IND 23 27 19 2493
CHI 21 23 17 2081

Top Performers

Indiana: J. Bender 18 Pts, 10 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Blk

Chicago: M. World Peace 16 Pts, 3 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

Pacers snap losing streak with balance

CHICAGO (AP) -- Jonathan Bender got a chance to start and showed the talent that makes him a big part of the Indiana Pacers' future.

Bender played a career-high 46 minutes, scoring 18 points and grabbing a career-best 10 rebounds, as the Pacers snapped a five-game losing streak Monday by beating the Chicago Bulls 93-81.

"I thought I'd be further along right now, but I have to be patient with myself," said Bender, in his third season since going directly to the NBA from high school.

"I guess you could say it was my best game."

Reggie Miller scored 20 points, Al Harrington -- in his fourth season after going from the preps to the pros -- added 18 and Jalen Rose had 12 of his 16 points in the second half.

"It takes sacrifice and it's a process," Rose said of blending the young players with the veterans.

"There is an adjustment period and you've got to humble yourself. You've got to swallow your pride and understand there are better days ahead."

Miller, who didn't play in the fourth quarter, agreed.

"The only way this team will get better is for the younger guys to get on the floor and make plays and make mistakes," Miller said. "It's a fine line. You still want to be able to win games."

Ron Mercer led Chicago with 18 points and Ron Artest added 16. The Bulls had 25 turnovers, 15 in the second half.

"When someone is out in the league, it always seems someone steps up," Chicago's brad Miller said. "Bender stepped up today. I'm not sure they missed anything without Jermaine O'Neal."

Bender, starting his second straight game with O'Neal sidelined by injury, scored 16 first-half points and gave Indiana a 50-44 lead when he hit a 3-pointer from the deep corner just before the buzzer.

Indiana took a 69-61 lead after three when Austin Croshere hit a 3-pointer with just under a minute left and Harrington converted a three-point play with nine seconds remaining in the quarter.

Rose's steal, driving layup and free throw for a three-point play and another jumper by Croshere made it 80-65, completing the 17-4 run.

Chicago mounted a mini-rally to get within nine, but Rose sank a 3-pointer and Harrington hit two baskets as Indiana increased its lead and regained control.

Bulls' rookies Tyson Chandler and Eddie Curry, also trying to make the jump from high school to the NBA, are still trying to find their way -- just as Harrington and Bender were several years ago.

Chandler was scoreless in 13 minutes and Curry had three in 11 minutes.

Game notes
Bender also blocked three shots. ... O'Neal missed his fourth straight game with a hyperextended left knee. Jamaal Tinsley returned after missing a game with a bruised left hip and left elbow. ... In a rarity, both teams shot 44.7 percent in the first half, attempting the same number of shots (38) and making the same (17). ... The Bulls finished the game shooting 43 percent. In their last game Saturday against Washington, they made just 24.7 percent. ... The Pacers are 2-6 in their last eight games, both wins over the Bulls.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 93 81
FGM-FGA 35-80 (.438) 32-74 (.432)
3PM-3PA 4-21 (.190) 4-7 (.571)
FTM-FTA 19-22 (.864) 13-16 (.813)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-39 10-42
Assists 27 26
Turnovers 16 25
Steals 11 6
Blocks 5 5
Fast Break Points 8 7
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (0/0) 24 (0/0)

Top Performers

Jonathan Bender Bender
Points: 18
Reb: 10
Ast: 1
Stl: 0
Blk: 3
Metta World Peace World Peace
Points: 16
Reb: 3
Ast: 6
Stl: 1
Blk: 2