For the second game in a row, it was the Chicago Bulls taking care of business, rather than folding, down the stretch in a tight game.
After a Luke Kennard triple cut the Bulls deficit to two points with just under six minutes to play, the Bulls outscored the Detroit Pistons 18-8 the rest of the way. Zach LaVine scored 10 of his game-high 33 points in the final five minutes of the game.
Asterisk: The Pistons were without Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin. But wins aren’t weighted for caveats like that, and the Bulls will gladly take their second two-game winning streak of the season.
We also got a good Coby White game. The Bulls rookie scored 19 points on an efficient 6-for-10 from the field. Three other Bulls scored in double figures and Chicago as a team drained 18 of the 35 3-point field goals they attempted (51.4 percent).
This game was competitive throughout. Pistons power forward Markieff Morris hit three 3-pointers between the last couple minutes of the third quarter and the first couple minutes of the fourth quarter, helping the Pistons to tie the game at 96 with 9:06 left to play in the fourth quarter. The Bulls started the fourth quarter 1-for-8 from the field, which helped the Pistons make the game tighter.
In the third quarter, it was a role reversal with the Bulls the ones coming back on the Pistons after Detroit flourished in the first half. After trailing by six at halftime, the Bulls hit 10 of their first 13 shots in the quarter and outscored the Pistons by 10 points in the third quarter to seize a four-point advantage after three. They put up 40 points in the third quarter.
The Pistons built their lead at halftime largely behind the contributions of big man Andre Drummond and a 7-for-16 effort from behind the 3-point line.
Bulls big man Lauri Markkanen sat for about 9-10 straight minutes at the end of the first quarter into the second quarter and ended the half with 13 minutes coming off a 31-point game against the Washington Wizards a couple nights ago. He didn’t really ever get into a rhythm in the first half, scoring two points on 1-for-5 from the field. He was better in the second half, finishing with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Drummond had nine points in his first eight minutes of the game as the Bulls really didn’t have an answer for him. Daniel Gafford did get him pretty bad on this block that led to a runout for the Bulls on the other end, which led to a Coby White 3-point field goal:
The Pistons big man scored 12 points in the first frame, and this was with the Pistons mostly forgetting he was on the floor for the last couple of minutes of the quarter. They forgot about him in the second quarter, too, as he only added one more bucket to his point total by the time halftime rolled around. He finished the game with 19 points and 14 rebounds.
The Bulls are back in action on Monday night against the Orlando Magic, a team that is just one game ahead of them in the standings. While the Bulls are 12-19, they’re just a game out of the 8-seed.