The short-handed Chicago Bulls paid a visit to The Palace of Auburn Hills Sunday night. Entering the game, Chicago was the worst scoring team in the entire NBA. That being said, it had won 18 straight against the Detroit Pistons, and something had to give.
Unfortunately for Chicago, that something would be in Detroit’s favor. The road team fell 99-85, ending the impressive streak.
Right out of the gate, the Bulls did an excellent job of turning defense into offense. They were pushing the tempo and scoring in transition, and they jumped out to a 9-2 lead about three-and-a-half minutes in.
The problem was that they weren’t the only ones finding success in that fashion. Detroit closed out the quarter on a 16-8 run, and it did it by quickly challenging the Bulls defense on each possession.
The Pistons continued to win the hustle plays beyond the first quarter. They were scrapping for loose balls, making backdoor cuts and attacking the rim any chance they got. Defensively, the Bulls' bigs did a good job in one-on-one assignments, but when the perimeter defense broke down, the Pistons got the open looks that kept them in control.
By the end of the night, Chicago was beaten in almost every major statistical category. The team was outshot, out-rebounded and out-energized from the second quarter on. It’s no longer a surprise when the offense struggles, but allowing 99 points and 53.4 percent shooting is a recipe for disaster with the playoffs right around the corner.