CHICAGO (AP) -- Consider this the Chicago Bulls' going-away
present for Jerry Krause.
With "JK" written on his sneakers, Jamal Crawford scored 14 of
his career-high 33 points in the last four minutes Tuesday night as
the Bulls stunned the Indiana Pacers 115-103.
"I'd like to thank Jerry Krause for putting this all together.
It's kind of sad that he's not here," Crawford said of the former
general manager, who suddenly resigned Monday because of health
problems. "He had a lot of faith in us, and this win is dedicated
But it wasn't enough for the Pacers, who blew a chance to pull
within a half-game of first-place Detroit in the Central Division.
Indiana remains 1½ games behind the Pistons with four left to play.
"I'm extremely upset," O'Neal said. "We seem to turn a corner
but end up right back where we were. I can't understand. We can't
get a total team effort."
Indiana has beaten Chicago in 16 of their last 19 meetings,
including a 140-89 embarrassment March 28. The 51-point loss was
the second-biggest in Bulls history, and Jalen Rose reminded his
teammates of it every chance he got.
"That was on our minds," said Eddy Curry, who had two big
rebounds and a block in the last three minutes to go with his 15
points. "We definitely wanted to pay them back for what they
But more importantly, this game was for Krause. After breaking
up the championship team, the former GM put his reputation on the
line with the Baby Bulls. The wins have taken a while to come --
Chicago will finish with its fifth straight losing season -- but
Krause never lost faith in the youngsters.
And they will never forget that. Curry and Tyson Chandler also
had "JK" written on their sneakers, and Curry said each player
decided on his own to do it.
"It was the least we could do," Curry said. "He means so much
to us. He's the one that brought us all here, and we can never
Jalen Rose scored 21 of his 27 points in the first quarter to
set the tone for the Bulls, and the teams were tied going into the
But O'Neal wasted little time putting the Pacers in front. After
going scoreless in the third quarter, he had nine points in the
first five minutes of the fourth.
He followed a three-point play with two thunderous dunks to give
Indiana a 98-91 lead with 6:52 to play.
But the Baby Bulls refused to back down. Corey Blount scored on
a layup, and Curry made a pair of free throws and a three-point
play to tie the game at 98 with 4:48 to play.
After O'Neal made two free throws, the Pacers made a costly
error, getting a technical for a defensive three-second violation.
Rose made the free throw, and Crawford came up with two key
He scored on a floater in the lane and then drilled a 3-pointer
that brought the United Center crowd to its feet and gave the Bulls
a 104-100 lead with 3:16 to play. Crawford broke into a grin as the
ball swished through the net, and he skipped over to the Bulls'
bench when Indiana called a timeout, trading high fives with his
"I just got in a good rhythm," Crawford said.
And he wasn't done. He scored on two more driving layups after
the timeout, drawing a foul on the second. He converted the
three-point play, giving Chicago a comfortable 109-101 lead with
two minutes left.
The Pacers missed four field goals and a pair of free throws,
and Crawford made four free throws to seal the victory.
"Crawford was fantastic," Reggie Miller said. "That was a
lost opportunity, especially this late in the season with only a
handful of games left. It's a tough loss in this situation. There's
no sense of urgency, and it's going to come back and bite us."
Chandler sat out the
second half and is expected to miss Wednesday's game
after a recurrence of an inflamed esophagus. He is on medication for the condition, which caused him to
miss two games last week. But he said he forgot to take the
medication Tuesday, and acid built up in his chest during the first
half of Chicago's victory against the Indiana Pacers. ...
Indiana forward Ron Mercer did not dress because of lower back
pain. ... Bulls C Dalibor Bagaric missed the game to be with his
wife, Jasmina, who had the couple's first child, a girl, earlier
Tuesday. ... Austin Croshere had a layup waved off at the end of
the first quarter. Replays showed the buzzer had sounded before the
ball left his hand.