FINAL FROM THE UNITED CENTER: Pistons 119 Bulls 87. ( Bulls: 27-55, 17-24 at home )
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 20 Pistons: Kennard: 23.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen and Portis each with 8. Pistons: Moreland: 17.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Payne: 9. Pistons: Jackson: 10.
CCI 24 SECONDS COMMENTARY: Anthony Toliver got it going early in the first quarter scoring 16 of his 18 points and the Pistons never looked back.
CCI STAT OF THE NIGHT: 145. A Bulls' rookie record for most made three point field goals in a single season set by Lauri Markkanen breaking the 2003-04 standard of Kirk Hinrich.
Markkanen is going to be a superstar in this league. He hasn't even scratched the surface of how good a player he's going to become. He's hungry. He's humble. He's coachable. He is going to be a multiple All Star player. Book it.
Check out my one on one with Lauri on BullsTV on Bulls.com
Despite the 27-55 record, I loved being around this group. The team went through plenty this year but not one player went off and the locker room was outstanding. The leadership of Justin Holliday and Robin Lopez cannot be underestimated. Their steady personalities of focus and keeping things relaxed through difficult stretches was very impactful.
The coaching staff deserves credit as well and their tireless work, care and concern for players and attention to detail was in play every practice, shoot around and game. I saw plenty of growth from Head Coach Fred Hoiberg in year three.
Random drawings by the NBA today will break several significant ties in the pre lottery NBA draft standings according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com
The Bulls and Kings finished in a tie for the sixth worse record in the NBAThe tie breaker will give the winner the sixth spot in the pre lottery standings. Both teams will have 5.3 chances of landing the number one pick The Bulls also own the Pelicans pick. New Orleans, Indiana,OKC and Utah all finished 48-34. A tie breaker will be in effect as well.
Better days are ahead Bulls' fans and you have my word.
NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Game of the night in the NBA: In OT—Minnesota makes the post season for the first time since 2004 beating Denver 1123-106. Jimmy Butler with 31. Up next for the T-Wolves, a first round matchup with Houston. Plenty of prime TV in this series. The Nuggets eliminated again falling short of the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
Miami 116 Toronto 109 in OT The Heat prevented the Raps from winning their 60th game. Toronto opens first round play hosting Washington.
Orlando 101 Wizards 92. - The Wiz end the regular season as the eight seed.
NY 110 Cavs 98. LeBron played in all 82 games. NY finished 29-53. After the Knicks arrived in NY from Cleveland, Head Coach Jeff Hornacek and his top assistant Kurt Rambis were informed they have been relieved of their duties according to ESPN. The network is reporting leading candidates for the position include: David Fizdale, David Blatt and Mark Jackson.
Philadelphia 130 Bucks 95.The 76ers won their 16th straight and 52nd on the season and wrapped up the third seed. Markelle Fultz, the number one overall pick who missed 68 games with a shoulder injury became the youngest player in NBA history ( 19 years 317 days) with a triple double of 13-10-10. The 76ers open up the playoffs against Miami.
OKC 137 Memphis 123. Russell Westbrook recorded a triple double average for the second straight season as he collected 20 rebounds and had 19 assists. Memphis finished the season losing its 60th game.
Boston 110 Nets 97. The Celtics play the Heat in the first round.
East Conference first round
NOLA 122 Spurs 98. Better get ready for a healthy dose of Anthony Davis playing 40 minutes of hoops a night in the playoffs.
Portland 102 Utah 93. Lillard with 36- Blazers finish with 49 wins.
Lakers 115 LAC 100. Josh Hart with a career high 30 points. LAC ended the season dropping four straight. Will DeAndre Jordan be back in an LAC uniform?
Sacramento 96 Houston 83. The Rockets win the WC with a 65-17 record. The Kings finish at 27-55. Jerry Reynolds,the outstanding TV analyst for the Kings' is stepping down after 20 years in the booth.
Western Conference first round:
Thanks for reading CCI this season. It has been a pleasure!
Always a pleasure! Love you all and Go Bulls!