CHICAGO (AP) — Victor Oladipo calmly rose to the occasion again and helped the Indiana Pacers emerge from a frantic finish with another win.
Oladipo banked in a three-pointer from just above the top of the arc with 0.3 seconds left in overtime to give Indiana its sixth straight victory, 119-116 over the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.
Oladipo had 36 points and seven rebounds, including some big baskets in the third quarter that gave the Pacers their first lead after Chicago got off to a fast start.
On his game-winner, Indiana’s leading scorer stepped from the centre court logo toward the arc and fired a shot over Kris Dunn than kissed the backboard and dropped through the net.
“It felt great coming out of my hands, and it banked in,” Oladipo said. “It felt like I didn’t bank it, it would have been a swish. I work on that shot all the time.”
Chicago’s Zach LaVine then hit a three-pointer from the corner, but after time ran out in the extra period.
Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis added 23 points and 12 rebounds in the first game of a five-game trip. Thaddeus Young had 16 points, including several key baskets down the stretch in the fourth quarter, to help the Pacers overcome an early 12-point deficit.
“(Oladipo) is our star,” Young said. “Before overtime started, I pulled him aside and said, ‘It’s time to take us to the promised land.’”
The Bulls (10-29) young lineup gave the rising Pacers (26-12) all they could handle.
LaVine led Chicago with 31 points. He made two three-pointers in the closing moments of regulation to tie it at 105 and send it to overtime. He hit the first three with 17.3 seconds left from outside the left side of the arc, then knotted it with 3.9 seconds remaining from almost the same spot.
Indiana made nine of 28 3-point attempts, but Chicago hit 12 of 28.
“We need to get closer and pressure the ball,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “The good thing is you can learn off a win.”
Lauri Markkanen had 27 points, and Dunn had 16 points and 17 assists for Chicago.
LaVine was five for nine from beyond the arc. Markkanen was four of nine.
“I think we got in a rhythm early where we were pushing the pace and were taking and making 3’s,” LaVine said. “It’s just one of those types of games you want to win. Either team could have said we should have won that game.”