INDIANAPOLIS – Victor Oladipo is back and the Indiana Pacers (20-19) couldn’t be happier.
Indy, who entered Saturday’s game versus the Chicago Bulls (14-26) on a five-game losing streak, looked like a completely different team. Fueled by 23 points by Oladipo, the Pacers rolled to a convincing 125-86 win over Chicago.
Oladipo, who missed each of Indiana’s last four games, picked up right where he left off. The former Indiana University star finished with 16 points, six assists and five steals in Saturday’s first half.
It didn’t take too long for the Blue and Gold to pull away from the Bulls. It was a 17-17 game midway through the first quarter, but a 7-0 run shot the home team in front. Indy led 31-26 after one.
The second quarter is where the Pacers broke this one open. Indiana outscored Chicago 33-11 in period number two, including a 15-2 run to start the quarter. It was Indy’s bench that powered the Pacers in the second, with TJ Leaf and Domantas Sabonis turning in quality minutes.
The outcome of this game was never in question in the second half.
Indiana outscored their opposition 37-30 in the third and 24-19 in the fourth, capping a strong 39-point victory.
In addition to his 23 points, Oladipo dished out a season-high nine assists and grabbed six rebounds. Off of the bench, Sabonis finished up with 22 points and five boards. Between the two, Oladipo and Sabonis combined to shoot 18-for-23 from the field.
Leaf didn’t take as many shots, but he was perfect on Saturday night. The rookie finished with 15 points, knocking down all six of his shot attempts.
Game two of Indy’s four-game homestand will be on Monday night against the Milwaukee Bucks. Game time is 7:00 p.m.