Bulls 100, Pistons 94 — FINAL
MAGIC NUMBER TO CLINCH HOME COURT:
MAGIC NUMBER TO CLINCH DIVISION:
The question heading into Sunday’s game was if Derrick Rose was going to shake off the rust that weighed him down so much on Thursday he was benched in the most critical part of the game.
But the story was quickly overwritten and became whether or not he Bulls would claw their way out of a trap game against the Pistons as they quickly fell into a deep whole, trailing with under :20 seconds left in the game.
But the Rusty Rose stroyline made a last second comeback and it fueled the same results for the Bulls. With 15.5 seconds left in the game, Rodney Stuckey went to the line witht he Pistons up by 2 after a five second violation by the Bulls turned the ball over on a crucial possession.
It looked grim as Stuckey drilled the first free throw but he missed the second and with the time left, the Bulls went the length of the court and Derrick Rose showed us all that his steel is no longer rusty, but deadly as usual.
The MVP drained a deep three pointer to tie the game and send the Bulls to their second straight overtime game triggered by a massive three. It was projected that Rose would play 30-32 minutes in the game today but he went well over that but used every second to get back to his usual self.
Joakim Noah recorded a double-double notching up 20 points and gobbling up 17 rebounds in the winning effort.
But the Bulls played poorly in the second half and they were very lucky to have been in the game as late as they were. The Pistons were playing inspired basketball and this was essentially their playoff game. But the Bulls are on a mission to close out the Heat — who won today in New York — and claim the top spot in the Eastern Conference for a second straight year.
This was probably the hardest of the Bulls next three games as their next two take them to games against the Wizards of Washington and the Bobcats of Charlotte who at the moment are barely a basketball team.
The net two games culminate in a meeting with the Heat on Thursday where the Bulls can win the Eastern Conference’s top seed. But until then they need to watch their P’s and Q’s as the teams that have nothing to play for have everything to spoil when the play the Bulls.