Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen (24) shoots over Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.
The Indiana Pacers struggled for most of the game against the NBA's worst team.
Chicago, losers of nine straight coming in and owners of the NBA's worst record, jumped out to a 17-point first-half lead, and in played sluggishly at both ends of the floor for more than 3 1/2 quarters before Victor Oladipo keyed a 13-2 run in the fourth quarter rallied them to a 98-96 win before 13,013 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Bojan Bogdanovic had 17 points for IN (14-11), and Darren Collison finished with 14. And Turner stuffed the stat sheet, finishing with 11 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and four blocks.
But the Bulls answered once again, closing the frame with an 8-2 run to take an 83-69 lead into the fourth quarter.
"It's an honor to play in front of the Indiana Pacer fans", Oladipo said. "Victor made some big shots in that fourth quarter and that transition three to put us ahead, it just shows the confidence that he's playing with".
The lowly Bulls led by as many as 17, but couldn't hold off the Pacers in the final moments. After Bulls guard Bobby Portis hit a free throw to put Chicago up 28-18 with 58 seconds left in the first quarter, the Pacers' deficit stayed in double digits until Darren Collison's 3-pointer trimmed Chicago's lead to 75-67 with 3:18 left in the third quarter.
"Tonight was about growth", said Nate McMillan. "They stuck together. They believed the entire time they were going to get it right and win this game".
Kris Dunn had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Bulls (3-20), and Robin Lopez scored 16 points.
IN trailed by as many as 17 points on Wednesday and by 15 points in the fourth quarter before mounting a major rally.
In the first half, the Pacers were outscored 55-39 and couldn't buy a stop for much of the second half as the Chicago Bulls (3-19) shot 62% in the third quarter.
Teammate Myles Turner added: "I don't think we took it lightly, but we just weren't as sharp as we've been". "Just to get out in the open floor and see a couple easy ones go in, build some momentum...that's what happened in the fourth quarter and we were able to pull it out". "It was a flat start, but we recovered, thankfully".
He even did 10 pushups for missing a free throw down the stretch.
The Pacers trailed the Bulls by as much as 17 points on Monday, and a loss to a 3-19 Chicago team would have been disappointing for IN, a team IN the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff chase.
Pacers: Indiana's 39 points at halftime was a season low. The make sealed the deal, giving the Pacers a two-point lead they would never give up.
The Bulls, averaging a league-low 95.6 points entering Wednesday, held the Pacers to their second-lowest scoring total of the season.
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