CHICAGO – Myles Turner set season highs with 27 points and 14 rebounds, and the short-handed Indiana Pacers withstood a huge effort by Zach LaVine to beat the Bulls, 116-105, on Friday night.
The Pacers overcame 43 points by LaVine and escaped with the victory after the Bulls rallied from 16 down to cut the deficit to four in the closing minutes.
T.J. Warren scored 17 for Indiana after being fined $25,000 by the NBA for an altercation with Miami’s Jimmy Butler on Wednesday night. The Pacers picked up their second win in three games even though they were missing two of their top players, with Malcolm Brogdon out with strep throat and Domantas Sabonis nursing a sore left knee.
LaVine finished six points shy of his career high set at Charlotte in November. Coby White scored 23, but the Bulls lost their sixth straight – their worst skid since a 10-game slide in December and January last season.
The Pacers led by seven early in the fourth quarter when the Holiday brothers scored eight straight. Justin Holiday wrapped two 3-pointers around a basket by brother Aaron to make it 94-79 with 7:29 left.
It was 99-83 midway through the fourth before the Bulls came storming back, cutting it to 103-99 on a 3 by Lauri Markkanen with about 3 minutes remaining. Justin Holiday answered with a 3 of his own, and the Pacers hung on from there.
Bulls: Rookie Daniel Gafford had two points and two rebounds in his first career start. The second-round pick from Arkansas is filling in at center with Wendell Carter Jr. expected to miss four to six weeks after spraining his right ankle Monday at Dallas.
Pacers: Sabonis was inactive after coach Nate McMillan said he would play. ... Brogdon missed his fifth straight game, this time because of strep throat after sitting out the previous four with a sore lower back.
McMillan said Brogdon’s back is fine, though he woke up ill Friday.
Bulls: visit Detroit on Saturday.
Pacers: host Philadelphia on Monday.