CHICAGO – Derrick Rose scored 32 points, including eight in the final three minutes, and Luol Deng added 22 as the Bulls remained unbeaten this preseason with a 103-98 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.
Rose, who played 31 minutes, also had nine assists and was 9 for 15 from the field, including 4 for 7 from 3-point range, as the Bulls improved to 5-0.
Paul George led the Pacers (0-5) with 22 points.
The Bulls were without Jimmy Butler (left knee contusion) and Joakim Noah (right groin strain).
The schedule said it was a preseason game, but the atmosphere in the United Center definitely had a regular-season feel as the teams expected to compete for the Central Division title battled down the stretch. Both teams finished with mostly starters on the court, which usually isn’t the norm in the preseason.
Rose appeared done for the night when he went to the bench late in the third quarter after playing 26 minutes. He had averaged 21.8 points in three previous games as he returns after missing last season following major knee surgery.
But he returned with just more than 5 minutes left and led the Bulls to victory as the crowd of 21,783 cheered as if it were a playoff game.