Vucevic and Bulls attack at the end and beat Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Nikola Vucevic perfected the simple game plan the Bulls had laid out for Friday.

The Pacers were missing their four main goalposts, so Chicago coach Billy Donovan called for Vucevic to dominate the heart of the floor.

The Montenegrin scored a season-high 36 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 122-115 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday.

“People think I have a big height advantage, but the truth is I’m not used to playing against smaller players,” said the 6-foot-11 Vucevic.

DeMar DeRozan added 31 points for Chicago, which has won four of six games and continues to have the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Indiana suffered its second straight loss despite Caris LeVert scoring a season-high 42 points, along with eight assists and five rebounds.

Newly hired Terry Taylor finished with 21 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.

The Bulls took advantage of the height disparity, despite missing star Zach LaVine with back cramps.

“The result is disappointing, but there was a lot of good stuff,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “We have to keep fighting while we are decimated.”

Vucevic was 16 of 21 from the field. He delivered four assists and made three blocks.

“I was really impressed with what he did tonight at the rim,” Donovan said. “He had a couple of really good covers and made some missed shots as well.”

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