The Chicago Bulls (25-16) took on the Central Division’s worst team, the Detroit Pistons (16-26) this evening. In typical Chicago Bulls fashion, they made what should have been an easy road victory much harder than it had to be. This time they managed to pull out the win, thanks for Marco Belinelli’s second game-winner in four games. Final score: 85-82
Former Piston Rip Hamilton opened up the game with a jumper and it would be the last time Chicago saw itself ahead on the score-board until the winding minutes of the game. The Bulls lackadaisical start allowed the Pistons to get ahead early, opening the game on a 12-2 run. Even a prompt time-out taken by head coach Tom Thibodeau didn’t seem to effect the team, as they coasted to a nine point deficit to close the half.
In the third quarter, Thibs nearly lost it. The Pistons came out of the half with authority, immediately going on an 8-0 run and eventually running their lead up to 17 points. That’s when Chicago started to fight back. Nailing the clubs first trey of the game was Rip Hamilton, who finished with 11 points.
Chicago didn’t get its act together until Nate Robinson sparked a 12-2 of his own to begin the fourth quarter. Down 11 points heading into the final 12 minutes of the game, the United Center fans were anxious for a response from their beloved Chicago Bulls, and boy did they ever answer the call. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during one of Thibodeau’s tantalizing speeches…
Although fans were begging Jimmy Butler, who replaced the injured Luol Deng, to get some arc on his jumpshot for the majority of the game, he did manage to hit the biggest three-pointer of the game with just under a minute to go. He finished with a career high in both points and rebounds, with 18 and 9.
Play of the game: With just 8 seconds left in regulation, Joakim Noah made a seemingly impossible save off a Marco Belinelli miss and at the same got it back into his hands. Noah ended the game ten points and 18 rebounds. Marco would score and convert the and-1, giving the Bulls the final lead of the game.
Rallying back from a 17-point deficit, Chicago pencilled in its 17th straight victory against the Pistons. Chances are that Thibs will still be furious with the Pistons getting not one, but two, good looks at the basket to tie the game.
Be sure to stay tuned to Pippen Ain’t Easy as Chicago will be facing off against the Golden State Warriors this Friday.