Detroit Pistons squander 25-point lead, lose 105-102 against the Chicago Bulls
It seemed like an easy night in Chicago for the first half as the Pistons began their five-game road trip.
The start was better than the finish.
The Pistons built a 25 point lead towards the end of the second quarter and watched it evaporate in the second half as the Bulls scored a 105-102 win at the United Center on Wednesday night.
Jerami Grant had a spectacular game with 43 career-high points, including 19 in the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter was a back and forth duel with Zach LaVine of the Bulls, who finished with 37 points.
The defeat ends the Pistons’ first winning streak this season in a game postponed from the second half of the season after both the Bulls and Pistons postponed Wednesday’s games.
In the second quarter, the Pistons had a 14-0 run with five points each from Saddiq Bey and Dennis Smith Jr. and were leading 47-27. They had their biggest lead, 59-34, 2:39 in the first half a 3-hand Grant and a basket Mason Plumlee.
The game turned in the third quarter when the Pistons had an 18-point lead from half-time after a 6-0 run to end the second half. The Bulls continued this for a 29-6 run to shorten the lead to 67-66 at 2:49.
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“It started in the last two minutes of the first half. The momentum shifted and changed. As much as we preached at halftime about how they’ll come out of the locker room with guns blazing with energy, ”said coach Dwane Casey. “The hardest thing in this league is playing with the lead. That is something we have to learn; We weren’t very much in that position. “
LaVine carried the Bulls (12-15) with 15 points during the sprint, but Grant helped stabilize the pistons by four points for the final stretch of the period, and the pistons held onto a 73-70 lead that came in fourth entered. It ended with a 27-12 lead for the Bulls.
“Properties are very important; You can not play. In situations like this, you can’t steal a phantom and miss, ”said Casey. “You have to make sure that you are strong with the ball because they will be overly aggressive. The officials will go with the momentum. It was a perfect storm, but it started in the last few minutes. “
The Bulls had another big run and finally took the lead, with a basket from Garrett Temple for a 74-73 advantage. Wendell Carter Jr. (17 points) hit a jumper and Patrick Williams (15 points).
The Pistons rebounded behind Grant in the fourth quarter, finishing within 87-86 at 4:04.
Grant finished the final period with 19 of the 29 points on the pistons and held the pistons tight, trading baskets with the cops in the last three minutes. His three-point play got him 37 points, but LaVine responded with a 3-pointer.
Bey got a loose ball for a 3-pointer to stay within two points, and LaVine responded with a dunk on the other end. Grant hit a fadeaway to score a series of three direct points for possessions, but the pistons didn’t stop when they needed them.
“Winning is important for personal play. We obviously could have done a better job in the third quarter, ”Grant said. “We gave them the lead and missed a few shots that we normally take, but we gave up the game this third quarter.”
The Pistons had one last try to tie the game, but Delon Wright’s 3-point attempt missed and the Bulls held for their second straight win.