The Chicago Bulls had various chances to take the game back from the Detroit Pistons, who had control of the game early on Wednesday night. But, in the end, the Bulls couldn’t hold on in the fourth quarter and instead took a 114-91 loss.
The Bulls got on the board first with E’Twaun Moore hitting a left baseline jumper followed by Jimmy Butler getting a steal and a fast-break layup, but the Pistons responded quickly, going on an 11-1 run. That run allowed the Pistons to set the tone for the quarter. The Pistons remained in control for the remainder of it and held a lead as large as nine points. The Bulls also had four turnovers — which gave up nine points to the Pistons — so that certainly didn’t help their effort to cut the deficit.
Bobby Portis and Doug McDermott each hit a three toward the end of the first quarter to lessen the deficit to seven, 28-21, by the end of the period.
The Bulls opened the second quarter on a strong note with Aaron Brooks and Portis combining for five quick points. This forced the Pistons to take a timeout with their lead diminishing to two points, 32-30. Unfortunately for the Bulls, though, they never capitalized on cutting down that deficit. The Pistons got their lead back up to five, but the Bulls hadn’t gotten into much trouble still. They actually managed to almost catch up by halftime; the Bulls started driving to the basket more toward the end of the quarter, and trailed only by one, 51-50.
To start the third quarter, the Bulls took advantage of the momentum they carried into halftime and came out energized. They scored a quick 10 points featuring back-to-back threes from Mirotic, putting them into a 60-53 lead.
Soon enough, though, the Bulls found themselves in a bit of an offensive drought, and it didn’t help that they began to settle for jumpers. But they occasionally found some points in small spurts, and it was enough for them to only trail by one, 76-75 by the end of the third.
Things didn’t really get better for the Bulls from there, though.
The Pistons added on to their lead early on into the fourth quarter with six points in the first minute, and the Bulls stayed close, but they soon let the game get away from them.
Around the middle of the quarter, the Bulls allowed three quick turnovers in less than a minute. It gave way for the Pistons to take a 97-81 lead, and that lead only grew from there. The Bulls scored a mere 16 points in the final period while the Pistons scored a whopping 38 points. The Bulls had 11 turnovers that resulted in 20 points for Detroit, but that was just part of the problem.
The rebounding battle was pretty even with the Bulls having the slight 41-40 advantage, but they only scored nine fast break points compared to the Pistons’ 24 fast break points. The Bulls also struggled with the three-point shot, shooting a mere 28.6 percent of their 21 three attempts — the worst so far this preseason.
Moore led the Bulls in with 16 points, three rebounds, four assists and a block. He started in place of Kirk Hinrich, who sat out with a foot injury but was suited up on the bench. Brooks followed with 13 points, one rebound, an assist and three steals.
Taj Gibson also made his preseason debut in the loss, adding four points, two rebounds and an assist. The game also marked the first time head coach Fred Hoiberg used a “big” starting lineup of Moore, Butler, Mirotic, Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol, but he elected not to use that lineup to open the second half.
Hoiberg on why he ditched the jumbo lineup in 2nd half: "We weren’t very energetic out of the gate."
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 15, 2015
The Bulls are now 2-3 in preseason play. They will compete next on Monday, Oct. 19 against the Charlotte Hornets at 6 p.m. in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Time Warner Cable Arena.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.