Chicago Bulls vs. Indiana Pacers Pick & Prediction MARCH 27th 2024

As they fight to avoid the play-in tournament, the Indiana Pacers need scoring and victories by whatever means possible.

Pascal Siakam’s steady hand has fueled Indiana lately. He has scored at least 25 points in the first four games of the team’s five-game road trip, helping the Pacers go 3-1 in that span.

As the Pacers aim to close the trip with more success Wednesday at the Chicago Bulls, they’ll need Siakam to maintain the outlook that helped him to 31 points in Monday’s 133-116 win at the Los Angeles Clippers.

“It’s whatever’s open out there,” Siakam said. “I think, obviously, taking pride in being a three-level kind of player. They did a decent job of taking me out of going to the rim, so I took the shots that were there and I’m comfortable with those shots. It’s going to look good every night. It’s just a matter of having that energy.”

Indiana (41-32) stood in sixth place in the East entering Tuesday. The Nos. 7-10 seeds compete in the play-in tournament.

The Bulls (34-38) are ninth in the conference, 1 1/2 games clear of the Atlanta Hawks in the No. 10 spot.

Both the Bulls and Pacers know they’ll need to be aggressive down the stretch to maintain their respective positions in the postseason race.

Indiana’s Myles Turner put that into practice Monday. After slumping to 4-for-15 3-point shooting in his four games before arriving in Los Angeles, he was 4-of-6 from deep against both the Lakers and Clippers.

“I work on my shot too much not to trust it,” said Turner, who scored 24 points against the Clippers. “My teammates were gassing me up. Coaches were running plays for me. That just makes it easier.”

Chicago will try to stop a three-game losing streak by claiming the season series with Indiana.

The teams split the first two meetings before the Bulls earned a 132-129 overtime road victory against the Pacers on March 13 behind 46 points from DeMar DeRozan. The fourth quarter featured 12 lead changes.

The victory capped a run of four wins in six games for the Bulls, who since have lost four of six.

Chicago’s skid continued with Monday’s 107-105 home loss to the Washington Wizards, who have the second-fewest wins in the NBA. Washington was without several key contributors, including four starters, leaving the Bulls to bemoan a missed opportunity.

“We shouldn’t drop games like this right now. We’re resilient, but we can’t live on the edge every single game,” DeRozan said. “We’ve got to leave it out there these last 10 games. We can’t have no more excuses. Play like your life depends on it; simple as that. It (stinks) because all these games matter. You want to be playing good basketball towards this part of the season.

“In the circumstance we are under, everything matters so much more. We’ve got to be more desperate. Not just the beginning of the game, but every single game here on out.”

DeRozan has scored at least 20 points in five straight games against Indiana. The Bulls have won two of the past three season series against the Pacers.

–Field Level Media

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