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DATE – Friday Nov. 27

TIME – 8 p.m. Eastern




11/16/15 – at Bulls (-6.5) 96, Pacers 95

3/18/15 – at Bulls (-1) 103, Pacers 86

3/6/15 – at Pacers (-6) 98, Bulls 84

12/29/14 – Bulls (-4.5) 92, at Pacers 90

11/15/14 – Pacers 99, at Bulls (-9) 90


Strong starts to the NBA season by both the Bulls and Pacers – coupled with a very competitive game between the two teams already this season – should make for an entertaining rematch this week.


Chicago and Indiana rank near the top of the Eastern Conference in wins in the first month of the NBA season, meaning Friday's Bulls-Pacers match is a key early-season game. The Chicago-Indiana game will be regionally televised at 8 p.m. Eastern from Indianapolis Friday.


The Bulls and Pacers have met once already this season, with Chicago winning at home last Monday, 96-95. Indiana's Paul George led all scorers with 26 points, but he missed a fade away jumper as time expired to allow the Bulls to hold on for the win. C.J. Miles added 19 points for the Pacers. The Bulls were led by Derrick Rose with 23 points and Jimmy Butler with 17.


George has led the Pacers in scoring in nearly every game this season, and he has averaged better than 25 points per game in the first month of the season. He also leads Indiana in rebounding.


Butler isn't quite scoring at the same pace as George, but he still solidly leads Chicago in scoring in the early part of the NBA season at better than 20 points per game. He leads the team in minutes played as well. Rose, who has missed one game with injury, leads the team in assists at six per game.


Friday's Bulls-Pacers game will mark the end of a four-game road trip for Chicago with three of the games taking the Bulls to the West Coast for seven days. Before the four-game road trip, Chicago had posted a 2-2 record on the road. Chicago is 5-1 at home this season, including last Monday's win in the Bulls-Pacers contest.


Indiana opened 0-2 at home before rattling off four straight wins at home to start November. The home record for the Pacers mirrored the season to this point for them, as they went 0-3 to start the season in October but won seven of their first nine games in November.


Both the Bulls and Pacers rank in the top 10 in scoring defense in the first month of the NBA season and are holding teams to less than 100 points per game, which is no small feat considering more teams are averaging triple figures in the early portion of the NBA season than are averaging less than 100 points. Chicago's strong defensive play is a bit of a surprise, as the Bulls rank near the bottom of the league thus far in number of turnovers forced at less than 12 per game. Indiana meanwhile has forced better than 17 turnovers per game in the first few weeks of the NBA season, ranking in the top five of the league


Indiana lost out on a playoff spot last season when it lost a tie-breaker with Brooklyn for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, so even early season games involving other contenders in the East, such as the Bulls-Pacers game, could play a role in earning a playoff berth for Indiana later in the season.


The home team has won three in a row in the Bulls-Pacers series, and the favored team has won four in a row outright, but the favorite is only 2-2 against the spread in the last four games. Including playoff games, Chicago leads the all-time Bulls-Pacers series, 100-85.