The Bulls are still trying to make the play-in tournament and the Pistons are tanking, so there was little reason for Sunday’s game to be close. Chicago was still without Troy Brown Jr. and Daniel Theis was a late scratch, but Jerami Grant was a late scratch as well and Detroit didn’t have several other key regulars. Sure enough, this game wasn’t competitive, with the visitors jumping on the home team from the opening tip and then cruising to a 108-96 victory with very little resistance.
The Bulls trailed 2-0 at the very start of the game and then never trailed again, going up by 10 points after the opening quarter and then holding a double-digit lead throughout the rest of the night. The Pistons had a chance to make things semi-interesting at the end of the third quarter when they cut a 21-point deficit to 12 and then had several shot attempts to make it a 10-point game, but they failed miserably and things quickly got out of hand again.
Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic dominated this one, with LaVine leading the Bulls with an efficient 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting overall and 3-of-5 from 3 while posting a plus-19. He had a handful of sick dunks:
Vucevic recorded yet another monster double-double with 29 points and 16 rebounds while shooting 14-of-27 from the field despite going 1-of-8 from 3-point range.
Coby White (21 points on 8-of-16 shooting and 5-of-11 from 3) was the only other Bull in double figures until Thaddeus Young joined the crew with a bucket late in garbage time. Chicago’s top offensive stars simply didn’t need much help on a night when they were so efficient and Detroit struggled offensively until later in the game when it was already a blowout. The Bulls shot 50.6% and only committed nine turnovers compared to 27 assists.
The Bulls have won three consecutive games by double digits for the first time since 2015 and held opponents under 100 points in three straight games for the first time since 2018. They’re 2.5 games behind the Pacers and three games behind the Wizards with four games to play in the race for the play-in tournament. Indy plays the lowly Cavs on Monday night, while Washington faces the Hawks without Bradley Beal. Chicago has a showdown with the Nets on tap Tuesday. Good on the Bulls for at least making that game mean something, and if they can somehow steal it, things could get real interesting.