DETROIT (AP) – Laurie Markkanen had 16 points and eight rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls used a strong defensive performance to a 100-86 win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.
Zach LaVine scored 18 points for the Bulls who lost two straights.
“These guys are always working to get better,” said Bulls coach Billy Donovan. “We’ve had some heavy losses lately – the kind of losses that can last – and I’ve been on teams where that was a problem. This group is good at avoiding that. ”
Daniel Galford added eight points and eleven rebounds for Chicago.
Detroit shot 16% (4 for 25) from 3-point range.
“I’m grateful for every chance I get,” said Gafford, who came into play after Wendell Carter Jr. was stabbed in the eye. “I was on the starting grid and took it for granted. I thought I could just keep doing it, and now I’ve learned that I have to keep earning it. ”
Jerami Grant scored 26 points for the Pistons, who had won twice in a row. Rookie Saddiq Bey, who averaged 24.0 points in Detroit’s wins against the Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets. didn’t score until a meaningless 3-pointer hit the buzzer.
“I thought Saddiq looked good, but there are nights when you have to see a shot to get a kickstart,” said Pistons coach Dwane Casey. “In the last couple of games we threw the ball out great and hit everything we took. Tonight we weren’t as good as getting out and nothing went in. ”
The Bulls stayed behind for most of the first half but took advantage of a late run to take a 46-45 lead. Chicago shot 60% on 3-hands while the pistons were held at 20%.
Chicago extended the lead to 11 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter and continued to suspend Detroit’s exterior shots. The pistons went down to 8 in quarter 1 and fell to 16.7% for the game.
“I think the difference in the game was the distance between the half and the third quarter,” said Casey. “I thought we had a slightly glassy look in our eyes at the end of the half, and then we didn’t answer when we were out there again.”
The bulls led 75-65 into the fourth quarter, extending their lead to 19 points over Denzel Valentine’s 3-pointer with 6:51. That stopped Donovan from pushing his starters too hard onto the front end of a back-to-back.
“I was very pleased with what we got from the bankers tonight,” said Donovan. “You got us back in the game in the second quarter. So I came back to them in the third quarter and they played just as well. ”
Bulls: Chicago have won six straight games against the Pistons, including a 4-0 win of the season in 2019-20. The series has put the Bulls in the lead to 135-133 in the all-time series that peaked 30 years ago with Michael Jordan’s teams against the Bad Boys.
Piston: Grant, who had a career high of 43 in Chicago on Feb.17 with a loss of 105-102, scored 14 points in the first quarter on Sunday and finished the race with 26 points.
Before the game, Donovan urged striker Patrick Williams to look for a chance to pick up Mason Plumlee’s pass on the opening tip. Williams did just that, stealing the ball and scoring at the seven-second mark. Williams finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
“He jumped the tip just like we discussed and I think that really got him going,” said Donovan. “We did different things with him offensively and he had a nice game.”
Bulls: Return home Monday to do Utah Jazz.
Piston: Travel to Indianapolis to play the Pacers during a break in the NCAA tournament.