In the Chicago Bulls’ previous matchups with the Detroit Pistons, they couldn’t take down the Pistons. But, in their matinee game on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the Bulls finally got a win over their Central Division foes, defeating the Pistons 111-101.
The Bulls were outworked by the Pistons in the first quarter, thus allowing the Pistons to go on a 6-0 run. The run prompted head coach Fred Hoiberg to call a timeout, but it didn’t quite achieve its purpose. The Pistons extended it to an 11-0 run before a bucket from Jimmy Butler ended the run. But, by that time, the Bulls went from being the first team on the board to a team that trailed 18-10.
From there, the Bulls’ offense appeared stagnant. It lacked movement — both in terms of the ball and players — and featured too many isolation plays. As a result, the Pistons extended their lead to 13 points. The Bulls turned it around with the bench, though.
Hoiberg inserted Aaron Brooks, Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic into the game late in the first quarter to join Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol to end the period with a 13-8 run.
The Bulls used that momentum to carry them in the second quarter. McDermott hit a 3-pointer followed by a long, left-wing jumper to bring the deficit to one point. E’Twaun Moore then made a shot of his own to take the lead. They stayed ahead of the Pistons for the rest of the quarter and took a 56-53 lead heading into halftime.
Coming out of halftime, the Bulls got right back to work, opening the third quarter with a 6-0 run for a 62-53 lead. That was as large as their lead got in the third, though. They couldn’t pull away. The Pistons, led by Ersan Ilyasova‘s 10 points, made a comeback, cutting the Bulls’ lead to four by the end of the quarter.
Despite that, the Pistons couldn’t take advantage of their momentum, and the Bulls instead built up a double-digit lead. They pulled ahead in the game to secure a win despite losing the rebound battle, 50-38, and were outscored in the paint 46-34.
The Bulls were led by Gasol’s double-double of 31 points and 10 rebounds, and the team is now 24-16.
For more on the Bulls’ win over the Pistons, read our Fast-Break Recap.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.