Bulls vs. Pistons final score: huge third quarter propels Chicago to resounding 133-87 win

After breaking their winning streak Sunday in Dallas, the Chicago Bulls were looking for a rebound game. Although at home against the modest Detroit Pistons, the Bulls started out slow. But then they used a huge push in the third quarter to quickly turn the game into a rout. The last quarter was a blast as the Bulls ended up winning by 46 with a final score of 133-87.

Eight guys were in double digits as Chicago shot 54.3% from the field with 33 assists on 50 marks, and was on fire with three with 52.9%.

Nikola Vucevic led the way with 22 points and eight rebounds as he rebounded from a tough first half. DeMar DeRozan almost had a triple double of 20 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. Lonzo Ball had 18 with four of his brands coming from downtown. Ayo Dosunmu and Coby White impacted the bench again, scoring 10 and 13 points respectively.

Zach LaVine had just 10 points but provided seven assists and nine rebounds.

As they have been in the last few games, Chicago started off slow, poor on defensive rotations and failed to box properly, allowing Detroit to break the glass. The Pistons took advantage of the second chance opportunities and rushed to an 11-5 lead. Isaiah Stewart had 10 points in the first quarter as Vucevic struggled to stop him. Billy Donovan immediately went to his bench and looked for a spark, replacing in Dosunmu. His three-point shot from the corner gave Chicago their first lead of the night halfway through the quarter, and a three-point play from Dosunmu and another from DeRozan maintained that lead after one.

Chicago began to go their separate ways in the second quarter. DeRozan continued to cook from the midrange, LaVine started knocking down a few shots and White continued to deliver an instant attack, scoring nine points over the quarter. The lead grew to double digits with 4:40 left in the half and went all the way to fourteen, but Detroit continued to retreat, reducing the lead to single digits. They even got a buzzer tip on a missed free throw, once again showing the Bulls’ lack of defensive rebound. It was a frustrating end to the half where despite Chicago winning you knew they could play a lot better.

A switch was clearly flipped at half-time. The Bulls recorded a 17-0 streak in the opening five minutes of the third. Vucevic, who had struggled up to this point, had 14 points in the quarter as his outside shot started to fall and that then helped his confidence while playing on the inside. Chicago continued to fire the jets despite rising sharply, attacking the basket and forcing turnovers.

By the end of the quarter, Chicago had a 33-point lead and the competition had officially reached explosion territory. LaVine and Vucevic did not play for the remainder of the game as DeRozan was substituted a minute into the last period, and Ball a few minutes later. Eventually the Bulls completely emptied the rest of their bench and Detroit finally followed suit. Unlike the Wizards game, that didn’t mean Chicago’s offense had come to a screeching halt. In fact, the exact opposite happened when bench guys such as Matt Thomas, Marko Simonovic and Alfonzo McKinnie took the lead to 40+. Thomas and McKinnie both scored 10 points during the quarter, with the former hitting three shots from deep.

While it was cool to see the Bulls still scoring, the most important thing was being able to rest the key guys, especially with Game 2 of a back-to-back coming up.

It was a good victory for Chicago. They looked bad at first, but quickly turned the script around and dominated after half-time. There are much tougher games ahead for the Bulls and they’ll need four full quarters of solid basketball. It starts when the Brooklyn Nets’ second-place finish hits town tomorrow.

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