The Bulls' 18-game winning streak against the Pistons is over. Detroit took control of the game in the second quarter and locked down Chicago's offense in the fourth to earn a 99-85 win on Sunday night.
Without Luol Deng in the lineup, the Bulls were let down by their offense: they scored only 39 points in the second half and finished the night 3-of-15 on three-pointers. Detroit held a 40-33 edge on the glass despite the return of Joakim Noah and also finished with five more assists than the Bulls. Ultimately, the Pistons were hitting shots and the Bulls weren't. Detroit shot 53.4 percent from the field compared to 45.2 percent for the Bulls.
Brandon Knight might be having the worst year ever, but the Pistons guard was excellent against the Bulls on Sunday. He got Kirk Hinrich into foul trouble and finished the night with 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting with five assists. Rodney Stuckey (14 points, five assists) was good, too. The Pistons' much buzzed about starting front-court of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond wasn't great, combining for 13 points and 17 rebounds, but reserve bigs Jonas Jerebko and Charlie Villanueva lit it up. Jerebko had 17 and nine on 7-fo-8 shooting and Villanueva hit a couple three-pointers finished 12 points.
The biggest story for the Bulls was the return of Noah, who looked very good in his 21 minutes. He was 4-of-4 from the field and finished with 13 points and seven rebounds. Marco Belinelli was back, too. He played 20 minutes, missed two shots and didn't score. The Bulls bench was terrible, combining to shoot 4-of-16 to finish with 12 points. Detroit's bench finished with 43 points.
Carlos Boozer looked good again on offense, but his 21 points and 10 rebounds still felt empty given the performance of Jerebko and Villanueva. Nate was Nate, scoring 18 points on 19 shots and finishing 1-of-5 from three. Hinrich shot 2-of-8 to finish with seven points. The only other bright spot was Jimmy Butler, who scored 14 on eight shots.
The Bulls have six games left, with a meeting against the Raptors on Tuesday at the United Center next on the schedule.