NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, March 31st
(All times Eastern)
Detroit Pistons (24-49) at Chicago Bulls (39-32), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Chicago Bulls couldn't carry the momentum over from
their big win against the streaking Miami Heat and look to bounce back Sunday
versus the Central rival Detroit Pistons.
After dismantling Miami's 27-game winning streak -- the second longest in NBA
history -- the Bull suffered a letdown in Saturday's 100-98 loss at Dallas.
Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki scored his team's final eight points, including a
go-ahead 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left.
Carlos Boozer recorded a double-double with 25 points and 11 boards, while
Luol Deng and Nate Robinson also added 25 points apiece for the Bulls, who
entered the game riding a three-game winning streak.
"This was definitely a tough loss," Chicago guard Kirk Hinrich said. "We just
didn't finish it out. They have a lot of guys with lots of experience and I
give them credit."
The playoff-bound Bulls are back home where they have won two in a row and own
a 20-16 record. Chicago is currently sixth in the Eastern Conference, one-half
game behind Atlanta and two back of Brooklyn.
Chicago hopes Joakim Noah (foot) and Marco Belinelli (abdomen) can make a
healthy return versus the Pistons. Belinelli has missed three straight games
and Noah has been sidelined the past four.
After hosting Detroit, the Bulls will visit Washington and Brooklyn.
The Pistons will close out what has been a brutal March and are 1-12 this
month. The losing ways continued with Friday's 99-82 setback versus Toronto as
Jonas Jerebko and Andre Drummond scored 20 and 17 points, respectively, for
the Pistons, who have dropped two in a row since ending a 10-game slide last
weekend at Charlotte.
Detroit has dropped eight in a row at home. The Raptors trailed 14-4 early on,
but eventually grabbed an 82-60 lead thanks to a 23-5 run. Toronto led by as
many as 27 points in the fourth quarter.
"The bottom line is, we have to get tired of getting embarrassed," said
Pistons coach Lawrence Frank. "At the end of the day, we're all professionals
and you have to be motivated by competition. That's the deal. And to come into
our building again and be embarrassed like we were; it hurts."
Frank's squad has been banged up lately. Guard Will Bynum (hand) and forward
Charlie Villanueva (illness) are questionable for Sunday's game, while guard
Brandon Knight (ankle/nose) is doubtful against the Bulls.
Greg Monroe had 11 points and 13 rebounds in the loss to the Raptors and owns
a career-high 33 double-doubles on the season. Drummond, a rookie, made his
first career start because of the injuries and returned after missing 22 games
with a back problem.
The Pistons will start a four-game road trip in Chicago and are 9-26 outside
of Auburn Hills this season. They have lost the first two meetings with the
Bulls this season and will host them on April 7.
Detroit is winless in the last 17 meetings with Chicago and 2-22 in the
previous 24 encounters against the Central rivals. The Pistons are also riding
a 13-game winless streak in the Windy City. Noah is averaging 20.0 points and
16.5 rebounds against the Pistons this season.
03/31 10:33:51 ET