Detroit Pistons

Pistons fall flat in Chicago, further in East playoff race

CHICAGO — Stan Van Gundy pulled the trigger on a change at point guard, but it made little difference.

An uninspired, disinterested Detroit Pistons team lost for the fifth time in six games Wednesday, allowing a short-handed Chicago Bulls team to pull away 117-95 at United Center.

Tobias Harris and Marcus Morris each scored 13 to lead the Pistons, who are now tied with the Bulls for ninth place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. They sit 1 1/2 games back of eighth-place Miami.

The Bulls had five scorers in double figures and opened the third quarter on a 15-2 run, opening up a double-digit lead that never went away.

Nikola Mirotic scored a game-high 28 points, Joffrey Lauvergne added 17, and Chicago shot 59 percent.

Both teams traded the lead 11 times in the first six minutes of the game, before the Bulls used a 13-0 first-quarter run to strike an early 12-point lead.

Chicago got to the basket with ease all night, scoring 58 points in the paint. Jimmy Butler had 16 points and 12 assists, while Paul Zipser added 15.

The Pistons, with Ish Smith starting over Reggie Jackson, tried clawing their way back in the second quarter. They used a 10-2 run on five points from Stanley Johnson to cut the lead to four, then pulled within a basket, 55-53, shortly before halftime.

But in what has become a trend of late, Detroit lacked energy out of the gate in the second half. Butler converted a three-point play, Mirotic knocked down a triple and Zipser scored on back-to-back possessions.

The Bulls, who lost an overtime game Tuesday, were playing without Dwyane Wade and the suspended Robin Lopez.

Detroit (34-38) will take the day off before playing at Orlando on Friday.

Game notes
* The Bulls scored 32 points with seven different scorers in the first quarter. It was the 15th time this season Detroit has allowed an opponent to score 30-plus points in the first quarter.

* Three Pistons starters failed to score in double figures. Smith finished with 9 points and seven assists, Andre Drummond scored eight (and 17 rebounds) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had five.

* Chicago scored 23 points off 16 Pistons turnovers.

* Detroit reserves combined for 45 points, led by 13 from Jon Leuer and 12 by Stanley Johnson.

* Kentavious Caldwell-Pope attempted just one shot in the the first half.

* Nikola Mirotic shot 12 for 15 from the floor, including 4 for 6 from the 3-point line. Joffrey Lauvergne was 7 for 13 with seven rebounds.

* Reggie Bullock, the 10th man in the Pistons’ playing rotation Wednesday night, scored three points in 16 minutes.

* The Pistons outscored the Bulls on second-chance points, 30-12.

* Ex-Michigan State standout Denzel Valentine scored eight points on two triples in 21 minutes.

* Rookie Michael Gbinije (ankle sprain) was inactive for the Pistons. Henry Ellenson is on another NBA Development League stint with the Grand Rapids Drive.

Recommended for you

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Leave a Reply