Indiana Pacers fans have a team to be excited about again after a cold stretch because Victor Oladipo is BACK! As you would expect, Oladipo made his presence very clear guiding the Pacers to a dominating 125-86 win over the Bulls in his return from injury.
Oladipo finished with a team-leading 23 points on 9/11 shooting from the field, 2/3 from behind the arc, and 3/4 from the charity stripe. In addition, Oladipo racked up 6 rebounds, 9 assists, and 5 steals in just 24 minutes of action. He finished with a +29 plus-minus, making the best impact on the team. Fellow teammate from OKC also made a name for himself in Oladipo’s return, Domantas Sabonis. Sabonis was just as efficient, finishing with 22 points on 9/12 shooting from the field. T.J. Leaf added 15 points marking a new career-high, while Myles Turner and Darren Collison each finished with 13 points. Joseph Young and Damien Wilkins each chipped in 11.
Indiana possessed much more swagger out on the court that we haven’t seen since Oladipo’s last game too long ago. As a result, the Pacers outscored the Bulls in each quarter by the margins of 31-26, 33-11, 37-30, and 24-19. Their shooting was incredible against a non-comparable Chicago team. The Pacers shot 48-86 (55.8%) from the field, 15-31 (48.4%) from behind the arc, and 14-18 (77.8%) from the charity stripe. Indiana’s shooting splits may have been some of the best we’ve seen this season. Additionally, Indiana won the “Battle for Boards” 55-41, dished out 24 assists, racked up 9 steals, and blocked 4 shots.
The Bulls did not show up prepared at all for Oladipo’s return, not knowing the impact he would have out on the floor. Indiana just played them without Victor and the Bulls won back in late December. Chicago just didn’t calculate the Victor Oladipo factor in front of a home crowd.
The Pacers will face the Milwaukee Bucks Monday night at 7:00 PM Eastern.