Notebook: Bulls 108, Pistons 104



Posted Dec 7, 2012 11:27 PM

By Dana Gauruder, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Chicago center Joakim Noah had a career night, racking up 30 points and 23 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls defeated the Detroit Pistons for the 16th straight time 108-104 at The Palace on Friday night. Carlos Boozer had 24 points for the Bulls (10-8), who erased a 17-point, first-half deficit. Luol Deng added 16 points and six assists as Chicago captured its fourth victory in five games. Guard Rodney Stuckey led Detroit (6-15), which has dropped four of its last five, with 24 points and seven assists.

QUOTABLE: "I don't think my game changed that much. I'm just more comfortable, knowing where I can be effective and how to get my hooks off. I feel a lot more comfortable shooting the ball, too. I'm just more comfortable on the court and I work hard on my game."

-- Joakim Noah on his offensive explosion

THE STAT: 52.4-51.4. The game matched two of the top five teams in terms of defensive field-goal percentage, but the spectators would have never suspected it. Both teams shot more than 50 percent, with Chicago going 43-for-82 (52.4 percent) and Detroit connecting on 36-for-70 (51.4). The Pistons' percentage was a season high by a Bulls opponent, surpassing the 49.4 percent achieved by Portland on Nov. 18.

TURNING POINT: The Pistons were scoring at will most of the first half against the league's best defense in terms of points allowed. Detroit led 53-36, but Chicago closed the half on a 14-2 run. Noah provided the spark with six points during that stretch, and Kirk Hinrich finished it with four points in the final 40.4 seconds. The Pistons missed all six of their field-goal attempts and committed three turnovers in those four minutes.

QUOTABLE II: "It's in him. He's got to continue to push himself. He can do a lot better than he's doing right now. He's worked at his game, but there's things I still think he can get to that he hasn't gotten to yet."

-- Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau on Noah's offensive game

HOT: Noah shot 12-for-19 from the field and 6-for-7 on free throws. He made a handful of his baskets through his 10 offensive rebounds. His previous career high in points was 26 against Boston on Nov. 5, 2010, and he never had more than 21 rebounds.

NOT: Chicago's bench was a non-factor, as the three subs that Thibodeau used scored a combined nine points on 3-for-11 shooting with one rebound and no assists. That forced four of the starters to play at least 39 minutes.

ROOKIE WATCH: Detroit center Andre Drummond was coming off back-to-back 12-rebound games, but was held to four in this one. He did convert all three of his shots, but starting guard Kyle Singler had just two points and no assists in 24 minutes.

NOTABLE: Four-time Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace had a front-row seat along the baseline. Wallace, who played for both franchises, retired after last season. ... The Bulls had a 19-game winning streak against the Pistons during the mid-1990s. Detroit's last victory over Chicago at The Palace was Dec. 23, 2008. ... Bulls starting guard Richard Hamilton missed his third straight game with torn plantar fascia in his left foot. Hamilton said Friday he could be out as long as four weeks. ... Deng (40.9) and Noah (39.5) lead the NBA in minutes per game. ... Pistons center Greg Monroe had 13 points after failing to reach double figures in four of the last five games.

UP NEXT: For the Bulls, Saturday vs. New York, Tuesday vs. L.A. Clippers, Wednesday @ Philadelphia. For the Pistons, Saturday @ Cleveland, Monday @ Philadelphia, Tuesday vs. Denver.