The Bulls Friday in a lackluster effort were outhustled and lost in overtime 98-94 to the Detroit Pistons.
The Bulls had a chance at the end of regulation, but Derrick Rose missed a 17 footer at the buzzer.
The Bulls fell to 2-1 and play at home Sunday against the Orlando Magic. The Pistons went to 3-0.
The Bulls were led by Jimmy Butler with 23 points and Nikola Mirotic with 22. Butler also had 11 rebounds. But Butler shot five of 19 and Rose was four of 13 for eight points. Pau Gasol had 16 points and 12 rebounds. The Pistons outworked the Bulls, 61-50 in rebounding and an overwhelming 20-8 on the offensive boards. Marcus Morris had 26 points and Andre Drummond had 20 points and 20 rebounds. The Bulls also committed 20 turnovers despite playing considerable half court basketball.
It was a cold and scary night in Detroit as befits Halloween eve. Inside as well as both teams after a quick Pistons start reverted to an 80s slog fest of poor shooting and mistakes. Both teams shot below 40 percent in the first quarter and then the Bulls hung on to a 39-35 halftime lead. Butler and Rose were a combined two of 12 in the first half while the Pistons starting guards were three of 14. The Pistons opened up a 15-6 lead to start by dominating the backboards with second shots.
The Bulls hung in thanks to a strong offensive first quarter from Mirotic that included seven consecutive points. The Pistons led 23-19 after one quarter. The Bulls second unit then took advantage of the Pistons reserves and took an early second quarter lead, lost it with turnovers and then with some hustling plays from Butler dunking on a fast break pass from Rose enabled the Bulls to lead 39-35 at halftime. But the Pistons regained the momentum in the third quarter, spurting to a 53-45 lead, again with second shots and Bulls turnovers, 15 through three quarters even with a slow pace.
But with Mirotic again and Butler and Gasol double/doubles through three quarters the Bulls tied the score at 64 after three even with Rose scoreless in 20 minutes with four turnovers through the third. The game devolved into a half court match more reminiscent of the 80’s Bulls and Pistons. The teams exchanged leads and missed opportunities and sloppy play down the stretch. The Bulls finally got the ball back at 83-83 with 22 seconds left. Rose with no timeout called dribbled out the clock and shot an air ball jump shot as time expired and the teams went to overtime. In the previous possession with a chance to take a lead Tony Snell dribbled out the clock and was called for a shot clock violation with the ball in his hands. The Pistons took over to start overtime with seven straight points in the first 74 seconds as the Bulls continued to strain through a sluggish offense.