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Rush scores 18 and leads Pacers by Bulls

Friday, October 10, 2008


AP Sports Writer

FORT WAYNE -- It took Brandon Rush mere hours to ease any worries the Indiana Pacers might have had about trading Shawne Williams.

The Pacers sent Williams to Dallas on Friday for Eddie Jones, cash and draft picks. Rush took advantage of the newly available minutes and scored nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter to lead Indiana past the Chicago Bulls 102-95 in a preseason game.

Pacers president Larry Bird said before tip-off that he traded for Rush on draft day because he didn't know if he'd keep Williams after the forward had been involved in two incidents that involved the police. Rush rewarded Bird's decision by shooting 7-for-9 from the field and grabbing four rebounds in 27 minutes.

Danny Granger, Indiana's top scorer last season, was impressed with Rush's performance.

"It was great, especially from a rookie," Granger said. "He showed what he was capable of. Even though it's just preseason, it shows how good he can be."

Rush, who led Kansas to the national championship last season, was more focused on the team aspect of the game. The Pacers lost their preseason opener 105-71 to New Orleans on Wednesday, so Rush felt Friday's win was a step forward.

"It was definitely a great feeling for us, being able to get a win, being able to play hard, and executing," he said.

T.J. Ford scored 18 points and Marquis Daniels added 13 for the Pacers (1-1).

Tyrus Thomas had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Aaron Gray added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulls (0-2). Chicago guard Derrick Rose, the first pick in the 2008 draft, had 13 points and six assists.

The game was played at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, and the crowd was split between Pacers and Bulls fans, though it was officially a Pacers home game. Fort Wayne is 120 miles from Indianapolis and 160 miles from Chicago.

Rush noticed that the crowd cheered for the Pacers, but got loudest when Rose made a play.

"Most of the crowd was going for Derrick Rose a little bit," he said. "It was definitely fun to get a win."

Rush said the crowd's support for Rose didn't add incentive.

"It wasn't no rookie pride, it was just us making plays for our teams," Rush said with a laugh.

Rose made a 3-pointer with 48 seconds left to cut Indiana's lead to 95-92, but Ford responded with a three-point play at the other end with 31 seconds left to put the Pacers in control for good.

Indiana played without injured starters Mike Dunleavy (knee) and Troy Murphy (left foot), while Chicago played without Ben Gordon (toe) and Joakim Noah (eye).

The Pacers led 49-42 at halftime, but Chicago tied the game at 52 midway through the third quarter, then controlled the rest of the period to take a 74-68 lead.

The Pacers tied the game at 76 on a dunk by Josh McRoberts, and Indiana regained the lead on a reverse layup by rookie Roy Hibbert. He was fouled by Thabo Sefolosha and converted the three-point play to make it 79-76 with just under eight minutes to play.

Sefolosha hit a 3-pointer to give Chicago an 84-81 lead, but a driving reverse layup by Rush gave the Pacers an 86-84 lead, and they never trailed again.


The Pacers signed C Jeff Foster to a contract extension on Friday. He has spent his entire 10-year career with the Pacers, averaging 5.0 points and 7.0 rebounds. ... Chicago rookie Elton Brown was issued a technical foul in the fourth quarter. The resulting free throw by Indiana's Jarrett Jack tied the game at 84.

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