Prior to their game against the Chicago Bulls on Monday night, the Indiana Pacers hadn’t taken the court since their victory of the world champion Miami Heat last Friday night. The two days of rest will prove to be much-needed for the Pacers, who now face the only back-to-back-to-back stretch of games for any team in the league this season. Indiana will find themselves playing four games in five nights this week, once it is all said and done.
The game against Chicago had to be rescheduled from the day after New Year’s, due to blizzard conditions in Indianapolis. Although the Pacers got the 111-101 victory, the track meet-type mactch-up was uncharacteristic for the top-two ranked defensive teams in the league. Monday’s meeting was the first time in ten games between these division rivals that both teams scored over 100 points. The 101 points was also the highest score made by the Bulls all season, and marked the first time in 42 games that Chicago had lost after scoring over 100 points, which was a tie for the longest such streak in league history.
Monday’s win marked the 14th-straight home win for the Pacers, which is their longest home win streak since Indiana won 25 home games in a row during the 1999-2000 season, when the team reached the NBA Finals. The second of three-straight games continues Tuesday, when the Pacers welcome in the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta has already defeated Indiana twice this season, and has won 12 of the last 15 contests.