Earlier this season, Nikola Vucevic heard some boos from the home crowd.

Not anymore.

Not with the way he's performing.

Vucevic was stellar with a season-best 36 points to go along with 17 rebounds and three blocked shots for the Chicago Bulls in their 122-115 win over the Indiana Pacers on Friday.

Vucevic will look to stay hot in front of the home fans when the Bulls return home to host the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.

The ball consistently rotated through Vucevic and the plan worked.

"We got Vooch the ball a lot inside, but we could have gotten more," Bulls head coach Billy Donovan said. "They were trapping, and that got us a lot of good open shots, but we didn't shoot the ball great. That happens on a back-to-back. We generated good shots when Vooch got the ball."

Although All Star Zach LaVine sat out with a back injury, the Bulls continued to prove that they're still a complete team.

DeMar DeRozan scored 31 points, Javonte Green added 16 and Ayo Dosunmu had a surprising 15 points and a career-high 14 assists.

It was Dosunmu's dunk in the waning seconds that sealed the victory.

"Ayo made a great explosive play downhill to finish," Donovan said. "He's not afraid of the moment, and I trust him. He's going to have a belief and confidence that he's going to make the play. He's not always going to be perfect, but he'll learn from his mistakes. I wasn't sure he could get there, but he got off the floor quick and was able to dunk it."

The Sixers will look to rebound after a 107-98 loss Friday night on the road against the Dallas Mavericks.

Still, the Sixers remain one of the league's top road teams with a 17-10 mark.

When the Mavericks went to a zone defense in the third quarter, all the momentum changed and Philadelphia struggled mightily with six turnovers.

"We didn't take the wide-open shots that we should have," said Joel Embiid, who had 27 points and 13 rebounds but only four points in the third.

"The ball didn't move the way it should've been moved, and then we didn't attack. We kept settling, passing the ball around the 3-point line, but we never actually got to the paint."

Attacking the zone defense has been an issue for the Sixers all season. This was nothing new.

If the Sixers hope to find a way to win against the Bulls, they must conquer this weakness.

"We have to figure some stuff out," Seth Curry said. "It's been a few times this year (where) we've been pretty bad against the zone. If we don't get Joel a touch in the middle of the paint, front of the rim, then we rarely get a good shot. We have to figure out some other options out of that zone."

The Sixers once again played without key injured role players Shake Milton (back) and Furkan Korkmaz (knee). It's unclear if they'll be able to return against the Bulls.

--Field Level Media

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