The last time the Chicago Bulls won a season series from the Detroit Pistons, Michael Jordan was leading the Bulls to their sixth NBA championship in eight years.

Chicago will try to match that feat Wednesday when it visits its Central Division rivals for the final time this season.

The Bulls are 6-28 against the Pistons - holders of the best record in the Central and the Eastern Conference - since winning three of four contests in the 1997-98 season. Chicago (44-31) dropped its third consecutive game at Detroit (48-26) on Feb. 25, but Kirk Hinrich made two of three free throws with 2.8 seconds left to secure an 83-81 home win against the Pistons on Thursday.

Chicago failed to build off that victory in Saturday's 112-108 overtime home loss to Cleveland, the second-best team in the East, but regrouped to overcome fatigue in a 105-97 triumph at Atlanta on Sunday.

"We had some moments where we were sharp, but overall we clearly had some lag from the game yesterday," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "That's why you have to win these types of games."

Now, Chicago will try to sweep its brief two-game road trip and end its struggles at Detroit, where it has lost 13 of its last 16.

The Bulls, who have already clinched their third consecutive postseason appearance, are fifth overall in the East. They trail division rival Cleveland by one game, and both teams have seven games remaining.

Detroit, meanwhile, is trying to secure homecourt advantage in the Eastern Conference for the second consecutive season. The Pistons took another step in that direction Tuesday with their fifth win in six contests, a 100-85 victory at Indiana where they outscored the Pacers 35-18 in the third quarter to erase a 14-point first-half deficit.

"It was embarrassing to come out like that," Pistons point guard Chauncey Billups said. "There is no other way to look at it. But we came out in the third quarter and picked it up pretty well. Bad starts can be like a trickle-down effect. Luckily, we're a team that has played together for a long, long time to be able to turn it around."

That turnaround kept Detroit 3 1/2 games ahead of Cleveland with eight games left, and the Pistons host the Cavaliers on Sunday.

The Pistons may have to do that without forward Rasheed Wallace, who hyperextended the pointer finger on his non-shooting left hand in the first half against the Pacers. He returned for a few possessions after the break, but his status is day-to-day.

If Wallace, who averages 13.0 points and 7.7 rebounds, is unable to go, Jason Maxiell could get the start. Wallace already has missed six games with a strained left foot and ankle soreness and two others due to league suspensions en route to accumulating 18 technical fouls.

He had 19 points and seven boards in the last matchup with Chicago, playing center opposite Ben Wallace - his former frontcourt mate with Detroit for six seasons.

Ben Wallace, who is averaging 6.4 points and 10.8 rebounds in his first season with Chicago, will not be available for this matchup due to sinus inflammation.

Bulls guard Ben Gordon has averaged 24.2 points in his last five games versus Detroit, shooting 52 percent (13-for-25) from 3-point range and 50 percent (42-for-84) overall.


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