Chicago (AP) – Nikola Vusevic scored 22 points, Demar DeRozan had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons 133-87 on Tuesday night.
DeRozan sat for most of the final 16 minutes but still added seven assists. Eastern Conference-leading Chicago won a season-best nine-game winning streak after ending Sunday in Dallas.
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“In the second half, we came up with how we should start the game,” DeRozan said.
Josh Jackson scored 16 points and Saddique Bay added 14 for the Pistons, who won two straight.
The Bulls led 61-52 at half-time and quickly turned it into a blowout by starting the second half on a 17-0 run that included four straight 3-pointers – two each from Derrick Jones Jr. and Vusevic.
Vusevic lost five of his first six shots but ended the night with 18 for 10. He was 7 for 9 in the third.
“He’s the kind of guy who can definitely do it right. He just figures things out,” said coach Billy Donovan. “You saw his whole package in the third quarter.”
The Pistons helped dig the hole by losing their first seven shots and rolling the ball three times during the four-minute stretch.
Detroit could only manage 14 points in the third quarter and fell 97-66 at the end.
Lonzo Ball added 18 points and Zach LaVine had 10 points and nine rebounds as Chicago secured their ninth straight home win. The Bulls also got to rest their routines in the final period to prepare for a two-game stretch, which includes trips to Brooklyn — formerly their closest followers — and Golden State.
The latter game has been tabbed for national broadcast, when Chicago began the season with only a few such dates.
“You do your job right, you get paid,” DeRozan said of the increased attention. “You have to put yourself where you need to look. I feel like that’s where we are.”
The Bulls got off to a good start in the second quarter with a 9–2 run, which included a pair of baskets by DeRozan. He had 14 points in the first half.
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DeRozan’s lone triple-double came during the 2018–19 season with San Antonio.
Detroit’s Cade Cunningham, the top pick in last year’s draft, scored a career-best 29 points the night before but struggled on Tuesday. He spent the final six minutes of the opening half on the bench after taking his third individual foul and finished the night shooting 3-of-11 and eight points from six turnovers.
Detroit coach Dwayne Casey was back on the bench Tuesday, a night after watching the team’s victory over Utah on TV. Casey said a COVID-19 test came back positive on Sunday morning, but two subsequent tests – one Sunday, the other yesterday – were negative.
“I think it was a false positive,” said Casey, who said he received all recommended vaccinations and takes special precautions because of his asthma. “I tell everyone, get vaccinated and encourage.”
Pistons: Casey said he expects newly-acquired Si Bol Bol to resume practice on Wednesday, two days after the team traded Rodney McGruder and a second-round pick in the upcoming draft to Denver. … The coach did not have a timetable for the return of either Jeremy Grant (right thumb) or Kelly Olinic (left knee).
Bulls: G. Alex Caruso missed his ninth straight game and third since entering the NBA’s COVID-19 protocol. Donovan said Caruso is “making progress and moving in the right direction,” but did not say when the team would expect him to be back on the court. Caruso missed the first six games to recover from a left leg sprain. … Chicago has won 10 direct meetings with Detroit.
Pistons: Welcome to Toronto on Friday.
Bulls: Host Brooklyn on Tuesday.
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