The Bulls and Pacers met on Sunday with Indiana looking to pull even with Chicago for 11th in the East, two games back of the Wizards for 10th and the final play-in spot.
The result was a high-scoring thriller, as Zach LaVine had another big game with 42 points but it was not enough to overcome Tyrese Haliburton and the Pacers. The first-time All-Star had 29 points and 11 assists in what became a 125-122 Indiana win, including the game-winning bucket as he pulled up from well beyond the three-point line to bury the dagger over Patrick Beverley with under 3 seconds to play.
Haliburton has had a sensational year for the somewhat surprising Pacers, who were a team many had on potential tank-watch coming into the year, but have been competitive and held their group together through the deadline. Aiding Haliburton in the win over the Bulls were rookie Bennedict Mathurin, who had 17 points off of the bench, while Myles Turner added in 16 and Chris Duarte also had a nice night with 15 in a reserve role.
On the Bulls side, DeMar DeRozan chipped in 23 points, but the rest of the squad just was not able to give LaVine quite enough support to get a win in a big effort, as they slide back in their chase of 10th. Both Chicago and Indiana are three games back in the loss column, but just one back in the win column of Washington now, as they’ll be hoping to see the Wizards stumble down the stretch to allow for a real race for that final play-in position.