Look at the Bright Side (Bulls at Pistons; 04.11.24)

Aaron J. Thornton/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

DETROIT — The Chicago Bulls have known for a number of days that their entire season will come down to one game once the postseason starts. At the very least, however, they earned the right to be in friendly confines once the do-or-die portion of their campaign starts with their performance on Thursday evening.

DeMar DeRozan scored 39 points to lead the Bulls to a 127-105 victory over the Detroit Pistons inside Little Caesars Arena, securing home-court advantage on Chicago’s single-game elimination playoff against the Atlanta Hawks next week. Nikola Vucevic had 27 points and 11 rebounds while Coby White had 18 points for Chicago, who will be the No. 9 seed and need to win two games in the play-in tournament to for the chance to play in the main draw of the NBA Playoffs as the No. 8 seed.

Despite getting off to a 5-14 start to the season, continuing without the services of Lonzo Ball and losing Zach LaVine in February to season-ending foot surgery, Chicago at least has the chance to make amends once the end of this week comes to a conclusion.

“I’m happy for these guys,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “This season got off to a rough start for us, and I really appreciate the guys in our locker room sticking together and fighting. They never quit and never made excuses, even when we were losing players.”

The Bulls took advantage of 20 Detroit turnovers and turned them into 36 points on the night. After holding into a 31-30 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Bulls scored 33 points in the second and 35 more in the third quarter to build a 19-point lead going into the final frame.

Jalen Duren and Marcus Sasser each had 20 points for the Pistons, who set the franchise record with their 67th loss of the season. The 1979-80 team lost 66 games.

“We made 14 threes and they made 14 threes,” Pistons head coach Monty Williams said. “They just had so many more opportunities – they played in transition almost the whole night because of our turnovers. That’s something I haven’t been able to help our guys with – playing in crowds and playing in passing lanes.”

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Thursday evening’s game, with photos taken by ALOST staff photographer Aaron J. Thornton. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 19 pictures in total.

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Tags : Chicago BullsDetroit PistonsNational Basketball Association

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