The Bulls have gotten lost in the Detroit Pistons' shadow ever since Michael Jordan left Chicago. As hard as it would have been to believe a few months ago, that might be changing...
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The Bulls have gotten lost in the Detroit Pistons’ shadow ever since Michael Jordan left Chicago.
As hard as it would have been to believe a few months ago, that might be changing.
Ben Gordon scored 19 points, and fellow reserve Tyson Chandler had 13 points and 11 rebounds as the Bulls won their fifth consecutive game, beating the slumping NBA champions 89-82 last night.
“This was very impressive,” Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. “It was a great defensive effort and we’re a team that just keeps battling.”
Chicago, which started the season 4-15, hadn’t won five in a row since Jordan led the Bulls on a 14-game run during the 1997-98 championship season.
“It turned around pretty quick,” Kirk Hinrich said. “If you think about where we were three or four weeks ago, we’re in a comfort zone now.”
Detroit, which shot 35.6 percent, has lost four of six.
“We continue to shoot bad and give people life,” Pistons coach Larry Brown said. “Our shooting percentage has been terrible, so we’ve got to find a way to get to the line. That’s tough for us, because we don’t really have any dribble-penetration guys. We have to find a better way to play.”
Brown had to be restrained during a postgame argument with referee Anthony Jordan.
“The guy wouldn’t talk to me during the game, and I can’t understand that — I wasn’t being discourteous,” Brown said. “Well, maybe I was at the end, and I suppose I’ll hear about that.”
Six Bulls scored in double figures, including three reserve players. The Chicago bench players outscored Detroit’s 53-8, including 18 from Andres Nocioni.
“This was a good game for the bench, but we’ve been consistently playing well on this winning streak,” Chandler said. “I think that’s one thing we were lacking. We didn’t have a set rotation and we didn’t have an understanding of each other.”
Chauncey Billups led all scorers with 32 for the Pistons, and Ben Wallace had 12 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks while playing on a sprained ankle. Detroit still fell to 12-12.
“If you had told me at the beginning of the season that we’d be at .500 at Christmas, I wouldn’t have believed it,” Billups said.
“We’ve just got to keep shooting,” Detoit’s Rasheed Wallace said. “We are in a little bit of a funk right now, but I think our shot selection is OK. We’ve just got to knock them down.”