Mirotic proving his worth
Two weeks after falling out of the rotation for a couple of games, Nikola Mirotic is playing again and making believers out of the Chicago Bulls.
Dwyane Wade scored 21 points and Mirotic added a season-high 20 — including a key bucket down the stretch — as Chicago survived a poor shooting performance for a 90-85 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Monday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
“We need him to win; it’s as simple as that,” Wade said of Mirotic. “We need him to play big and he’s knows that we believe and trust in him.
“Tonight he made big shots and obviously made the biggest one at the end.”
Jimmy Butler had 16 points as Chicago, which had dropped nine of 12, was 32-for83 (38.6 percent) from the field.
Aaron Brooks had a seasonhigh 19 points to lead the Pacers, who have lost three straight.
Indiana, which dropped to 4-12 on the road, has lost five straight and eight of nine at United Center.
“Aaron did a good job out there,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “Our second unit got us back in the game.”
Mirotic pumped in 14 points in 12 first-half minutes to pace the Bulls to a 51-41 halftime lead. He made three 3-pointers to provide the kind of spark Chicago had been looking for from him on a consistent basis.
However, the Bulls’ offensive woes returned at the start of the second half. They managed just 12 points in the third quarter as Indiana closed the game to 63-61 heading into the fourth.