Bulls beat Pacers 95-86 in preseason opener

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The only thing about the Indiana-Chicago matchup Friday night that resembled a preseason game was the fact that it didn’t count in the regular-season standings.

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The only thing about the Indiana-Chicago matchup Friday night that resembled a preseason game was the fact that it didn’t count in the regular-season standings.

The crowd was juiced up, and fairly large number of red-clad fans made the trip from Chicago to watch the Bulls beat the Pacers 95-86 in a preseason opener for both teams that looked more like an extension of last season’s intense first-round playoff series.

"I hope the fans liked it," Bulls guard Derrick Rose said. "We were really getting after it."

Rose and Luol Deng each scored 16 points, C.J. Watson had 15, and Taj Gibson added 12 for the Bulls. New guard Richard Hamilton was in uniform but didn’t play.

Tyler Hansbrough had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Paul George added 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers. Danny Granger scored 12 points for Indiana, but was just 5 for 17 from the field. Indianapolis native George Hill scored three points in his first game in a Pacers uniform after being acqured from San Antonio.

New Pacers forward David West didn’t play. Coach Frank Vogel had said he would be careful with West because he had ACL surgery in April.

There were aspects of the game that clearly showed that the players had just come off of the lockout. Chicago committed 24 turnovers, including six by Rose.

"A charge, travel, like some high school turnovers," Rose said. "But I know that comes with being excited to be out there."

On Indiana’s side, the Pacers shot 2 for 23 from the field in the second quarter and squandered an 11-point lead.

"We came in with a bench unit not used to playing with each other, and their second unit outplayed us," Vogel said.

A 3-point play by Rose early in the third quarter pushed Chicago’s lead to 57-49, but Roy Hibbert made a pair of baskets to help Indiana even it at 62. The Pacers took the lead on a putback by George, but Chicago led 72-71 at the end of the third quarter.

Chicago started the fourth quarter on a 6-1 run. A 3-pointer by Watson pushed Chicago’s lead to nine at 81-72 with 8 minutes to play. Indiana didn’t make a field goal for the first 6 minutes.

Rose didn’t feel good about the performance overall.

"We can deal with missed shots, that will happen in a game," he said. "But turnovers is something that we definitely have to change. It starts with me."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

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