NBA Game Summary - Detroit at Chicago
(Tuesday, March 24th)
Final Score: Chicago 99, Detroit 91
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Derrick Rose's bruised wrist allowed Kirk Hinrich to shine, as the normally back-up guard scored 24 points with eight assists to just two turnovers, as Chicago scored a playoff-improving 99-91 victory over Detroit at the United Center.
Rose's injury is apparently not serious, as x-rays and an MRI on Monday showed no structural damage. He missed his first game, but Hinrich more than picked up the slack, setting up John Salmons and the rest of the Bulls starters. Each starter scored at least 15 points as the Bulls moved two games clear of idle Charlotte and 2 1/2 games clear of Milwaukee for the Eastern Conference's eighth playoff seed and trimmed the deficit for the seventh spot to just one game with Detroit.
Ben Gordon notched 19 points, Tyrus Thomas added 18 and 12 rebounds, Salmons added 16 points and six boards, while Joakim Noah donated 15 points and 10 rebounds.
"Right now we're in the playoffs. A month ago we weren't," said Gordon. "We just have to keep this up, keep playing well, especially at home, trying to improve our seeding if we can."
Will Bynum and Tayshaun Prince led Detroit with 20 points apiece, while Bynum also found his teammates to the tune of nine assists. Antonio McDyess added 16 points and eight rebounds, while Kwame Brown recorded five points and 11 boards. The Pistons have lost five of six.
"Offensively for most of the night we were pretty good," said Pistons coach Michael Curry. "We got in trouble a lot of times where I thought we got to the point where we couldn't score and they got out in transition. The game kind of got away from us at that time."
Chicago got into a groove on both ends of the floor in the opening period. An 8-2 burst allowed the Bulls to double up the visitors, 22-11, after Gordon flared off the top of the circle and buried a jumper. The Pistons righted the ship with the period's final seven points thanks to a three-point play from Prince, a Bynum driving layup and a McDyess jumper with 45 seconds to play.
Detroit finally got over the hump, tying and taking the lead on Stuckey's three-point play for a 39-38 margin with 2:14 to play in the first half. The edge exchanged hands several more times, and Thomas' thunderous slam off a cut in the lane knotted the contest at 43 after 24 minutes of play.
The Bulls sprinted out to a 60-51 lead midway through the third quarter on the heels on 10 consecutive points -- and defensive play that directly led to several run-out buckets. Thomas made a pair of transition short jumpers, Hinrich scored from in close and Noah and Gordon each sank two free throws.
The lead hovered near 10 points late in the period before Walter Herrmann's three-pointer with 21 ticks to go cut the deficit to 75-68. The Bulls quickly ran out to their biggest lead of the game, however, with the fourth quarter's first five points. Thomas' two free throws and Hinrich's triple made the score 80-65.
Moments later, Salmons got into the act from long distance, burying a wide open three from the right wing for an 86-71 lead. Salmons spotted up and connected again from long distance and Hinrich's layup totaled a 17-5 scoring stretch to start the period for a 92-73 lead.
The Bulls cruised to victory from there.
The Bulls improved to 22-12 at home this season, while the Pistons dropped to 16-18 on the road...Detroit has dropped six straight at the United Center...The Bulls made 44 percent of their shots, while the Pistons made 48.2 percent from the floor.
03/25 01:37:07 ET