David West had 31 points and seven rebounds in the Indiana Pacers’ 97-92 win over the Chicago Bulls.
“He leads our team in will. He has great will to do whatever is needed to get the ‘W,'” Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said of West.
George Hill added 21 points, six boards and five assists for the Pacers, who have won seven of their last eight games.
Indiana won the season series against Chicago for the first time since 2003-04, when the Pacers last won the Central Division.
Marco Belinelli and Jimmy Butler netted 20 points apiece for Chicago, which had its brief two-game winning streak snapped. Joakim Noah added 14 points, 10 boards and five helpers in defeat.
“I’m really proud of the way we competed. We fought really hard and gave ourselves a chance,” Noah said.
Belinelli’s layup pulled the Bulls within 90-89 with 1:27 left, but Indiana scored the next five as Hill made a pair of foul shots, West had a layup and Hill split two from the stripe for a 95-89 with 25.6 ticks to go.
But the Bulls quickly fought back as Butler drained a 3-pointer, and after Hill missed two free throws with 13.6 seconds remaining, Chicago had a chance to tie. Belinelli missed a wild three, but the rebound went out of bounds off Indiana. The Pacers’ stingy defense, though, clamped down and West stole Noah’s pass before sinking two free throws to seal the win.
The Pacers raced out to a 32-21 advantage after one and went into the break with a 47-40 cushion.
Chicago outscored Indiana 26-22 in the third and headed into the fourth down, 69-66.