Bulls 110, Pacers 89
The searing pain in Derrick Rose's stomach makes eating just about impossible. Taking over a game, however?
Well, he can still do that. It's just a little more difficult.
''I told him on the bench, 'I can't tell you how proud I am, to be going through what you're going through physically,''' Boozer said. ''I'm sure mentally all that stuff drains you when you can't do what you're used to do.''
Rose played well enough for the second straight night, and the Bulls pulled away down the stretch, outscoring Indiana 33-17 in the fourth quarter.
Luol Deng added 19 points after scoring 26 the previous night in a win over the Magic, helping the Bulls improve to 11-0 versus the Central while remaining the lone unbeaten team against its own division.
They ran away in the fourth but got a major scare about three minutes into the period, when Taj Gibson had to be helped off with a sprained right ankle after crashing to the court. He hit the back of teammate Ronnie Brewer's foot and landed awkwardly as Indiana's Danny Granger (19 points) drove the lane.
X-rays showed no structural damage, and coach Tom Thibodeau said Gibson could have re-entered the game.
By then, the Bulls were in control and the Pacers were headed toward their seventh loss in eight games.
Josh McRoberts led Indiana with a career-high 20 points but was also a victim of a ferocious dunk by Brewer in the closing minutes that led to a technical for him and an ejection for coach Jim O'Brien.
Brewer threw down a ferocious two-hander off a feed from Deng despite taking a shot to the face. As Brewer completed the three-point play, McRoberts had his arm up high and was initially called for a hostile play while jockeying for the rebound with Boozer.
''I was just trying to block out,'' McRoberts said. ''I've got to see the replay. I wasn't trying to do anything, just block out and make sure he (Boozer) didn't get the ball.''
The call against him got downgraded to a technical but not before O'Brien got tossed after walking on the court and picking up his second technical of the game.
Kyle Korver (16 points) hit two free throws to make it 102-82 with 3:23 left in the game.
''Derrick Rose and Kyle Korver, we couldn't guard them down the stretch,'' O'Brien said.
Rose came on strong after a slow start, scoring all but five of his points in the second half, but it wasn't an easy week for him.
He started feeling ill early on and was diagnosed by doctors at Rush University Medical Center on Wednesday.
Even so, he decided to play against Orlando on Friday night and although he finished with 22 points and 12 assists in a win, he was just 6 of 21 from the field against the Magic.
He gutted it out again on Saturday even though he said he was still ''feeling really beat up'' and ''fatigued.''
''I took it easy the first half,'' he said. ''In the second half I just tried to be aggressive. Taking shots they were giving me and they were just falling.''
He can barely eat, he's living off protein shakes, and he acknowledged before the game that some time off might help. But he also said, ''This is the NBA. You've got to tough it out.''
Should he even be out there?
''He doesn't want to miss any games,'' Boozer said. ''He has big goals. You guys heard him at the beginning of the season - he wants to be the MVP. MVPs don't take days off.''
NOTES: Pacers F Tyler Hansbrough missed his second straight game because of pneumonia. ''We thought we'd have him today because we shot him up with antibiotics yesterday,'' O'Brien said. ''He can't go. He wants to go. He wanted to go last night. But our medical staff is not permitting him to play.'' ... In a nod to Rose saying spicy food caused his ulcers, O'Brien said in jest when asked how to contain the guard: ''You've got to offer him some spicy Nachos before the game.'' ... McRoberts' previous high was 18 points against Houston on April 4.