10 observations: Bulls match scoring high in blowout of Pistons

The Chicago Bulls (27-11) saw a nine-game winning streak come to an end Sunday night in Dallas, but returned to the winning streak with a resounding 133-87 blowout over the Pistons (9-31) under -sol Tuesday evening at the United Center.

It’s the Bulls’ biggest margin of victory so far this season, beating a 123-88 victory at the Orlando Magic on November 26.

Here are 10 remarks:

1. Billy Donovan whistled for the game’s first time-out after 2 minutes and 27 seconds with the Pistons leading 9-5. Forty-two seconds later, Derrick Jones Jr. fouled Isaiah Stewart in an out attempt, allowing Detroit to take the 11-5 advantage.

Then Ayo Dosunmu checked in (for Jones Jr.), and the tide shifted. The Bulls rookie lay-up and scored a 3-point corner to lead a 9-2 run and push the Bulls ahead 14-13. The Pistons fought back, but a transition layup and one by Dosunmu later in the period helped the Bulls stem that, too.

The Bulls led just 28-27 after one, but won Dosunmu’s nine minutes by seven points. When he finally checked at the seven-minute-second mark – yes, that means his first stint was 13 minutes and 51 seconds – he had 10 points and was a team-top plus-10.

2. The Bulls started to open the game in the second quarter, ending the first half with 61 points (11 fastbreaks) and 17 assists.

But the first four minutes of the third quarter are when the nail met the coffin. During that span, the Bulls outscored the Pistons 17-0 to open a 78-52 lead. It was a sprint that featured a series of transition opportunities generated by turnovers from the Pistons and two three points each from Jones Jr. and Nikola Vučević.

And the assault hardly stopped there. In total, the Bulls won the third quarter 36-14, shooting 50% (5 for 8 of 3) while keeping the Pistons 4 for 21. With 9:12 to go in the fourth and the Bulls ahead 109- 72, Donovan shot Lonzo Ball, the last of his starters in the match.

3. Vučević missed five of his first six shot attempts, including a few bunnies around the rim, but managed a full 180 late in the night. He finished with 22 points (10 for 18 shooting, 2 for 4 from 3), eight rebounds and four assists in 27 minutes.

His third quarter alone would represent a solid night for most crosses: 16 points, five rebounds, an assist and a 7-10 shooting line (2 for 3 from 3 points). After slamming a number of jumpers against the Mavericks, Vučević tickled the string from the outside and the post into this one – a solid narrow game.

“I have a lot of confidence in Vooch. He’s just a very, very good basketball player. He’s a guy who can kind of correct the course of a game,” Donovan said. “For me, offensively, in this third quarter, he involved everything he can do offensively. You could kind of see his whole package: the passes, the displays, the shooting of the 3, the mid-range pick-and-pop, offensive rebounds. He put a lot in the game there. “

4. Coby White inadvertently took a shot to the face for an offensive rebound midway through the first quarter and staggered in its wake, prompting Donovan to burn a time out to replace him. But after a brief trip through the tunnel, White returned to the Bulls bench later in the first and resumed play at 9:50 of the second.

When he did, he hit, knocking down a float, a 3-point transition and four free throws (obtained with solid practices) to end the first half with nine points. By the end of the night, he had 13, his eighth consecutive double-digit outing.

5. The Pistons came into play 29th in the NBA in offensive odds. On paper, a great opportunity to correct some of the defensive slippage that Donovan has shown in his squad in recent weeks.

After a somewhat slow start (the Bulls trailed as far as eight in the first quarter) they took advantage of the opportunity, now Detroit at 87 points, 33.7% shots and a dismal 6 for 35 mark behind the bow.

6. Specifically, the Bulls returned to their teeming, aggressive identity to that end, scoring 27 points on 18 turnovers.

Ball was generally global in this regard, catching three interceptions and covering acres of ground for multiple hard-hitting spins. And Troy Brown Jr. has continued to scramble into the minutes he’s won with the shorthanded Bulls lately (and he’s still missing Alex Caruso and Javonte Green). Brown Jr. had six career-high interceptions – three in the first quarter to boost Dosunmu’s energy early in the Bulls’ race.

seven. Ball has also exhausted four of his seven 3-point attempts to jump to 13 for 25 in his last three games, and 43.8% since his return from COVID-19 (a stretch that includes a 1 for 7 outing during his first return leg).

8. Despite all the (justified) criticism of the Bulls’ size in the frontcourt, they entered the NBA’s 13th game in terms of defensive rebound rate. Still, the Pistons rocked them on the offensive glass early on.

In the first half, Detroit managed seven offensive rebounds (four from Stewart) and established a 13-3 second-chance points advantage – with a free throw on the buzzer to reduce its deficit to 61-52 and a point iconic highlight.

The Bulls’ defense stiffened when their offense erupted in the second half, but Donovan’s multiple time-out calls after offensive rebounds in the first half showed he was unhappy with the dynamic.

9. Zach LaVine scored just 10 points (3 for 10) and provided seven assists, which could easily have gotten lost in the woodwork of a 46 point blowout. But after the game, Donovan pointed to the way he played in the course of the contest as an example of LaVine’s winning mentality, which the Bulls coach added he had experienced firsthand since joining. Chicago.

“A game like today speaks to me about its greatness,” Donovan said of LaVine. “He can shoot at any time. But he’s really, very, very invested in winning. He’s very invested in the team. And he wants to do things that will be sustainable over a long period of time.

“It’s very admirable, for me, the way he played tonight. It was a game where he kind of stayed. I thought he was aggressive, I thought he was decisive, he has Picked his places. But you know what? We ended up scoring 133 points tonight. He didn’t score a lot. But all he cares about is that the team is doing well. “

ten. The Bulls moved up to an 8-0 NBA best in games against opponents on the second night of a game in a row (the Pistons scored an impressive 78 points in the second half to beat Utah 126-116 Monday) – in the process equaling their season highs in points and 3 points achieved (18 for 34).

This is called doing business.

Next up: At home for the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday – a clash that the Bulls enter with 2.5 cushion games for the Eastern Conference lead and with starters better rested than would be typical for the second night of the match. ‘a consecutive match.

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