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Nikola Vucevic’s big night leads Chicago Bulls past Indiana Pacers

Apr 6, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Chicago Bulls center Nikola Vucevic (9) shoots the ball while Indiana Pacers center Goga Bitadze (88) defends in the third quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Chicago Bulls center Nikola Vucevic (9) shoots the ball while Indiana Pacers center Goga Bitadze (88) defends in the third quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Nikola Vucevic had his most productive game since joining Chicago on Tuesday night, contributing 32 points and 17 rebounds to the Bulls’ 113-97 road win over the injury-riddled Indiana Pacers.

Zach LaVine chipped in with 19 points for the Bulls, who were opening a five-game trip.

Caris LeVert had a team-high 20 points for the Pacers, who began the night without Domantas Sabonis (sprained ankle) and Malcolm Brodgon (strained hip) and ended it without Myles Turner, who suffered a sprained ankle in the third quarter.

En route to a second straight win, the Bulls led most of the way. They made their biggest push at the start of the second quarter, turning a 30-all game into a 45-33 advantage with a 15-3 burst that featured seven points from Coby White.

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Chicago led by 13 at the half, then busted the game open early in the third period, taking their first 20-point lead on a Patrick Williams layup that opened a 69-49 advantage in the second minute of the quarter.

Vucevic’s 30/15 game was his fourth of the season. He’d had neither a 30-point or 15-rebound game in his Bulls stint since being acquired at the deadline from Orlando.

Lauri Markkanen added 15 points, Thaddeus Young 14, White 13 and Williams 10 for Chicago, which had lost six in a row before beating Brooklyn 115-107 on Sunday.

With Markkanen making five of his seven shots and Young six of his 10, the Bulls outshot the Pacers 46.8 percent to 43.2 percent. Chicago also outscored the hosts 42-27 on 3-pointers, with Vucevic going 4-for-7 and LaVine 4-for-12.

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LeVert also found time for six rebounds and five assists for the Pacers, who lost for the fourth time in their last five games.

Edmund Sumner and Jeremy Lamb added 15 points apiece, Doug McDermott 11 and Turner 10 before suffering his injury.

The outcome allowed the Bulls to move within one victory of the Pacers in the win column and handed them the season series 2-1.

–Field Level Media