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Bulls vs. Pistons final score: Wendell Carter Jr. shines in 107-88 loss

one gem in a turd of a game

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Detroit Pistons Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Pistons scored the first eight points against the Bulls on Friday night, including a Reggie Jackson banked 3-pointer, which effectively set the stage for the entire game. But while the Bulls stunk as a team in a hideous 107-88 loss, Wendell Carter Jr. was a monster against one of the better frontcourts in the league in Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin.

Carter poured in a career-high 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and three blocks:

Carter showed no fear going up against Drummond and Griffin, aggressively taking it at the rim and also doing a ton of damage from mid-range. A small sample of Carter’s night on both ends:

Carter has dealt with a lot of foul trouble of late, but this time it was the rookie getting Drummond in some foul trouble thanks to his early aggressiveness. The youngster then did his finest work in the third quarter, running some exquisite two-man game with Zach LaVine to rack up 17 of his 28 points on 7-of-9 shooting. LaVine had seven of his nine assists in the frame, with most of those coming on pick-and-rolls with Carter.

Carter’s explosion turned what was a 19-point deficit in the first half to five midway through the third quarter. But the Bulls wouldn’t get any closer the rest of the night. The Pistons went on a 17-2 run over the next four-plus minutes to take a 20-point lead, and while their own ugly offense allowed the Bulls to get within single digits with just over seven minutes to play, it never got closer than nine points.

Outside of Carter, there was a whole bunch of nothing. Jabari Parker was the only other Bull in double figures with 12 points, but he shot 6-of-16 overall and missed all four of his 3-point attempts. He also had two comical turnovers in a first quarter that saw the Bulls fall in a big hole.

LaVine was dreadful outside of that stretch in the third quarter when he was finding Carter, failing to reach double digits in scoring for the first time this season. He had eight points on 3-of-12 shooting and didn’t attempt a single 3-pointer. He also had five turnovers, some just as bad as Parker’s early miscues. Lavine just didn’t seem to have his usual explosiveness right from the get-go, and it showed throughout the night.

The Bulls shot 3-of-21 from 3 as Ryan Arcidiacono came back down to earth (1-of-5 from 3) and Justin Holiday’s road shooting woes continued (3-of-9 overall, 2-of-6 from 3), though Holiday did tie a career high with seven assists.

Cameron Payne had eight points, six rebounds and five assists off the bench, but he missed all three of his triples and had one possession where he nearly fell over while dribbling and then airballed a floater seconds later. He also airballed a 3-pointer, and you could hear the pain in Stacey King’s voice on each misguided Payne 3-point attempt. The point guard is now 6-of-31 from deep since hitting seven over a month ago against the Hornets.

For the Pistons, Jackson and Griffin scored 20 points apiece to lead the way, with Jackson hitting a career-high six treys. Drummond had his issues with Carter, but he still finished with 19 points, 20 rebounds and four blocks.

The Bulls have now lost five games in a row to fall to 5-18, and they head to Houston to face the Rockets on Saturday night.