FINAL: Bulls 107 Pistons 105. Bulls: (16-27, 10-11 at home)
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 19 points. Pistons: Bradley: 26 points.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Dunn: 8. Pistons: Drummond: 15.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 8. Pistons: Smith: 6.
CCI 24 SECONDS COMMENTARY: We’re in Chicago, but it felt like Hollywood North. You couldn’t have written a better script. As Zach LaVine told me, the stars aligned at the United Center. It was Zach LaVine Bobblehead Night, he’s introduced last with the iconic Bulls theme music, he hits his first two shots in his first NBA game in nearly a year, and oh yes, the Bulls won! LaVine with 14 points in 19 minutes, but Zach will tell you it’s about the collective vibe of the team. The Bulls pace and space was superb, and yes, the closing seconds of the game left more than a few of us holding our breath, but the end result is a win. Period. Lauri Markkanen, LaVine, Niko Mirotic and Justin Holiday combined for 14 of the Bulls 17-3s. The Pistons turned the ball over 14 times and the Bulls took advantage scoring 23 points.
CCI GAME BALL: The easy one is LaVine, check! But Portis and Mirotic combined for 31 off the bench, double-check.
CCI STAT OF THE NIGHT: 21,613. The fans were amped. There was a buzz in the building, and in post game locker-room interviews the players acknowledged the UC atmosphere. Trust me, the players appreciate the big stage with the fans making an impact. The Bulls are 13-7 in their last 20 games.
Plenty of post game locker-room coverage on BullsTV on Bulls.com.
Up next: Home with Miami on Monday afternoon, celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
NBA NEWS AND NOTES
The Warriors scored 81-1st half points in Toronto against a very good Raptors team, and ended up winning by only 2. Come again? DeMar DeRozan scored 42. Stephen Curry returned to the lineup and had 24. The Warriors won their league high 19th road game.
Julius Randle had 23 points and 15 rebounds, as the Lakers won in Dallas 107-101 in OT. The Lakers now have a season best four-game win streak.
The Clippers finally hit the .500 mark as Lou Williams (All Star?) scored 26 points in a 21 point victory over the 13-29 Kings.
OKC snapped a three-game losing streak with a win in Charlotte.
The Wizards with rare back-to-back home games edged the Nets in OT 119-113. John Wall with 17 of his 23 points in the second half. He also dished out 16 assists. The Wizards are now seven games over .500.
Kawhi Leonard is back after a three-game absence, and that’s good news for the Spurs, but bad news for opponents as San Antonio blasted Denver by 32.
The Pistons have agreed to a two-way contract with Kay Felder, who had a brief stint with the Bulls. Felder is a native of Detroit.
Always a pleasure!