Bulls Playoff Central

Chicago fell to the Detroit Pistons 4-2 in the best-of-seven series

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    Bulls battle until the end;
    but can't keep Pistons down

    P.J. Brown's 20 first-half points led Chicago to a 5-point halftime edge, but Detroit reaches its fifth straight conference final | 05.17.07

    Game 6: Pistons 95, Bulls 85 | Recap | Box Score

  • Scenes from the Court | Postgame Quotes
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    The Pistons can breathe a little easier. There won't be a Game 7, after all.

    Richard Hamilton scored 23 points and the Detroit Pistons beat the Chicago Bulls 95-85 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, clinching a series that turned tense after Detroit won the first three games.

    No NBA team has lost a best-of-seven series after taking a 3-0 lead, and the Pistons rejected the Bulls' shot at history. Now, Detroit can focus on its fifth straight conference final.

    Down 48-43 at halftime, the Pistons outscored the Bulls 31-21 in the third quarter to take a 74-69 lead, and Chicago could not sustain any momentum in the fourth.

    Rasheed Wallace had 16 points and 13 rebounds for Detroit, while Tayshaun Prince added 17 points and nine rebounds. Chauncey Billups was just 3-for-12 from the field but he scored 11 of his 21 points in the third quarter.

    Chicago's P.J. Brown attempted just three shots in the second half after scoring all of his 20 points in the first two quarters, eclipsing his previous playoff career-high of 19. Luol Deng added 17 points, but the Bulls were off target after shooting 57.3 percent in Game 5. This time, they were 28-of-75 (37.3 percent), with Ben Gordon (19 points) going 7-for-18 and Kirk Hinrich (11 points) 3-of-13.

    It's not over yet!

    Ben Gordon and the Bulls, who made 72% of their shots in the first half,
    hammer the Pistons in Detroit to force Game 6 | 05.15.07

    Game 5: Bulls 108, Pistons 92 | Recap | Box Score

  • Scenes from the Court | Postgame Quotes
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    The Chicago Bulls are going home - to play another game. The Bulls made shots, stops and got to almost every loose ball against the Detroit Pistons. Suddenly, it's a series.

    Ben Gordon scored 28 points and the hot-shooting Bulls beat Detroit 108-92 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, pulling to 3-2 in the series.

    Detroit opened the second round with two routs and made a big comeback in the third game, leading some to predict it would end with a sweep - or in five games at the most.

    "A lot of people were writing us off,'' Gordon said. "But we had a lot of confidence in ourselves and I think that showed in the last two games.''

    The Bulls started the game ght with a sense of urgency and didn't let up in a game they never trailed. Chicago only missed one of its first seven shots while holding Detroit to 3-of-9 shooting and each starter scored to help build a 14-6 lead.

    The Bulls made 72.2 percent of their shots in the first half - falling just short of an NBA record - but only led by eight at halftime. They outscored Detroit 33-20 to take a 21-point lead into the fourth quarter.

    Gordon blog: Time to step up

    Gordon says being aggressive was the key to winning Game 4

    Ben Gordon checked in on Monday afternoon to discuss winning Game 4 and avoiding a second round sweep, the team’s mentality as they head back to Detroit for Game 5, the Pistons’ All-Star guards, and having nothing to lose.

    "We really have nothing to lose heading into Game 5," he wrote. "We just want to go out there and make sure we leave everything on the floor, make sure that at the end of the game, regardless of what happens, that we tried our best to stick to our plan and play our game. Guys find comfort in that. That’s something we did Sunday and it worked for us."

    Bulls stay alive

    Chicago forces Game 5 after leading by as much as 23 | 05.13.07

    Game 4: Bulls 102, Pistons 87 | Recap | Box Score

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    The Pistons wanted a sweep. The Chicago Bulls refused to let them get it.

    Luol Deng scored 25 points, Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon added 19 apiece, and the Bulls hung on to beat the Pistons 102-87 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday afternoon.

    Unlike Game 3, when the Bulls saw a 19-point lead dissolve into a seven-point loss, Chicago withstood a late push by Detroit. The Bulls outscored the Pistons 27-13 in the third quarter to turn a seven-point halftime lead into a 77-56 advantage going into the fourth.

    They didn't flinch when Chauncey Billups hit two free throws with 3:55 left to cut it to 87-80, or when he answered Gordon's 3-pointer with one of his own. That made it 90-83 with 2:46 remaining, but the Bulls hung on against a Pistons team that had won 12 of 13 closeout games.

    Deng was 10-of-15 after shooting 38 percent in the first three games and grabbed 13 rebounds. Hinrich added 10 assists, although he committed five turnovers. Ben Wallace delivered a vintage performance against his former team, grabbing 17 rebounds, and the Bulls held a 51-33 edge on the glass.

    Bulls can't hold on

    Chicago built a 19-point third quarter lead but let it slip away | 05.10.07

    Game 3: Pistons 81, Bulls 74 | Recap | Box Score

  • Scenes from the Court | Postgame Quotes
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    Tayshaun Prince and Chauncey Billups stepped up at just the right time and the Detroit Pistons are on the verge of another series sweep. Prince scored 23 points and Billups added 21, and the Pistons rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat the Chicago Bulls 81-74 on Thursday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

    No NBA team has won a best-of-seven series after dropping the first three games, and only three major professional teams have done that - the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders and 2004 Boston Red Sox.

    After blowing out the Bulls in the first two games at The Palace of Auburn Hills, the Pistons trailed 44-28 at halftime. They were down 49-30 early in the third and 55-38 midway through the quarter. But Prince, Billups and Rasheed Wallace brought them back.

    Luol Deng led Chicago with 21 points, but was just 8-for-22 from the field. The Bulls were 28-of-83 (33.7 percent) almost the same percentage (33.6) they managed in the first two games.

    Detroit doesn't let up

    Chicago starts slow again and is never able to catch up to the hot-shooting host Pistons in Game 2 | 05.07.07

    Game 2: Pistons 108, Bulls 87 | Recap | Box Score | Postgame Quotes

  • Video Highlights | Postgame Press Conference

    The Pistons punished the Chicago Bulls inside and out - again.

    Tayshaun Prince scored 25 points on an array of mid-range shots, a dunk in traffic and 3-pointers to lead Detroit to a 108-87 victory and a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

    Even though Prince led the way, he had plenty of help. Richard Hamilton had 24 points, Chris Webber scored 22, and Chauncey Billups had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Rasheed Wallace added 10 points.

    Chicago's Tyrus Thomas scored 12 of his 18 points in the final quarter to prevent the Pistons from winning by 26, as they did in the series opener, but the Bulls' stars did not shine. Luol Deng scored 16 on 4-of-12 shooting, Ben Gordon and Ben Wallace each scored 13 and Kirk Hinrich was held to two points on 0-for-7 shooting.

    Pistons take round one

    Detroit took control with a 13-2 run midway through the first quarter, but
    didn't put Chicago away until the opening minutes of the fourth | 05.05.07

    Game 1: Pistons 95, Bulls 69 | Recap | Box Score | Postgame Quotes

  • Video Highlights | Postgame Press Conference

    Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton each scored 20 points, leading Detroit to a 95-69 rout over the Chicago Bulls in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Saturday night.

    The Pistons were aggressive on defense, clogging passing lanes with their feet and hands. They caused problems at the other end of the court, too, playing unselfishly to help five players score in double figures.

    Ben Gordon, slowed by foul trouble, was held to seven points on 2-of-9 shooting after scoring 24 in each game against Miami in the first round. Luol Deng scored 18 and Kirk Hinrich had 15 for the Bulls.

  • Second Round Notes: Chicago vs. Detroit
  • 2006.07 Bulls vs. Pistons regular season box scores

    Bulls sweep defending champs

    Chicago puts the finishing touches on a strong first round | 04.29.07

    The Chicago Bulls swept the defending NBA champion Miami Heat out of the playoffs, winning a postseason series for the first time since the Michael Jordan era.

    Ben Gordon scored 24 points, Luol Deng had 22 points and 11 rebounds and Chicago beat Miami 92-79 Sunday in Game 4 to finish off their first-round Eastern Conference series. The Bulls, who will face Detroit in the second round, became the first team to oust a defending champion in the opening playoff series since Phoenix - coached by Scott Skiles - did it to San Antonio in 2000.

    Dwyane Wade scored 24 points for Miami on 8-for-22 shooting, and added 10 assists. Shaquille O'Neal had 16 points, Alonzo Mourning scored 14 and James Posey had 18 rebounds - a club-record 17 on the defensive end - for the Heat.

    Game 4: Bulls 92, Heat 79 | Recap | Box Score

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    Chicago takes commanding series edge

    Bulls rally to take Game 3 and go up 3-0 | 04.27.07

    Ben Gordon scored 27 points, Luol Deng added 24 points and 11 rebounds and Chicago used a 15-2 fourth-quarter run to seize control of a 104-96 victory over the Heat in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round series Friday night.

    The Heat trailed by nine points with 2:33 left and got within 99-96 on a jumper by Dwyane Wade about a minute later, but no closer. They led by 12 points in the third quarter, but misfired on 19 of their 35 free-throw attempts and were outscored 32-17 over the final 11+ minutes.

    Game 3: Bulls 104, Heat 96 | Recap | Box Score

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    Bulls storm to 2-0 series lead

    Chicago pulls away from Miami late for an 18-point win | 04.24.07

    Ben Gordon scored 27 points and Luol Deng added 26 to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 107-89 victory and a 2-0 lead over the defending champions in this first-round series. Gordon scored 11 in the third quarter, hitting three 3-pointers, as the Bulls built a 17-point lead. Deng scored 14 in the fourth as Chicago sent Miami halfway to elimination.

    Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade had subpar performances again after struggling through foul trouble in the opener, finishing with 17 and 21 points, respectively. O'Neal was just 6-for-14 from the floor with eight rebounds. And Wade, who led a late charge in Game 1, never really got going, hitting 9-of-19.

    Game 2: Bulls 107, Heat 89 | Recap | Box Score

  • Scenes from the Court | Postgame Quotes

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    Bulls top defending champs

    Bulls defend home court, take the series opener | 04.21.07

  • 2006.07 Bulls vs. Heat regular season box scores

    Luol Deng, who finished with a career playoff-high 33 points, buried a corner jumper and converted on a three-point play late in the fourth quarter to help Chicago secure a 96-91 win in Game 1 against visiting Miami. Ben Gordon recorded 24 points and 11 assists for the Bulls, who led by as many as 13.

    Game 1: Bulls 96, Heat 91 | Recap | Box Score

  • Scenes from the Court | Postgame Quotes

  • Video Highlights | Postgame Press Conference

  • Bulls vs. Pistons
    Second Round Results

    Playoff Notes

  • This season marked the 28th appearance by the Bulls in the NBA Playoffs, and their third consecutive (all under Scott Skiles). The Bulls have won six NBA titles (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998), the third most by a single franchise.
  • As a franchise, the Bulls have appeared in 275 playoff games and hold an all time playoff record of 157-118.
  • Scott Skiles led the Bulls into the playoffs for the third-straight season and made his fifth postseason appearance (15-20 record).
  • The Bulls swept their first round series against the defending champion Miami Heat (4-0) – the 12th playoff sweep in team history.
  • Prior to the Bulls downing the Heat in the first round this season, the last defending NBA Champion to lose in the first round of the playoffs was San Antonio in 2000. The Spurs won it all in 1999, but were defeated the following season by Scott Skiles’ Phoenix Suns (3-1).
  • Chicago’s 4-0 sweep of Miami also marks the first time in 50 years that a defending champion was swept in the first round. The previous occurred in 1957, when the Philadelphia Warriors were beaten 2-0 by the Syracuse Nationals in a best-of-three series. Current Bulls television broadcaster Johnny “Red” Kerr was a member of the Syracuse squad.
  • In team playoff history, the Bulls are 14-21 in elimination games following their victories in Game 4 and 5 over Detroit this postseason. Chicago is now 12-10 in elimination games at home and 2-11 (.154) on the road (two victories were “The Shot” in a 101-100 win at Cleveland on May 7, 1989 and Game 5 over Detroit this year).
  • In team playoff history, Chicago is now 1-3 in Game 5s on the road when trailing 3-1 in the series.
  • The Bulls are also now 1-2 (.333) all-time in elimination games at Detroit (lost in Game 5 of the 1988 Conf. Finals and in Game 7 of the 1990 Conf. Finals; won in Game 5 this year).
  • Through NBA Playoff history, no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win the series. In fact, in the history of professional sports it has only happened three times: the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, the 1975 New York Islanders and the 2004 Boston Red Sox.

  • Playoff History:
    Chicago vs. Detroit

    Chicago and Detroit met in the NBA Playoffs for the sixth time in 2007 and the first meeting since the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals when the Bulls swept the Pistons in four straight. The Pistons currently hold an 19-16 advantage in the 35 playoff meetings. Chicago is 10-7 in games played in the Windy City and 6-12 in meetings in the Motor City. The 2007 meetings in Chicago will be the first playoff appearance by Detroit at the United Center, after the Bulls hosted the Pistons at Chicago Stadium in all previous home meetings (1974, 1988-91). The Pistons have hosted the Bulls in the playoffs at three different Detroit venues: Cobo Arena (1974), Pontiac Silverdome (1988) and The Palace of Auburn Hills (1989, 1990 & 1991).

    Playoff Notes

    Free Points:
    Ben Gordon has a current string of 35-consecutive free throws made, including 30-consecutive in the current series versus Detroit. Gordon’s streak began in Game 4 of the first round match-up against Miami when he nailed his last five charity shots. Since that game he has been perfect versus Detroit, hitting 2-of-2 in Game 1, 5-of-5 in Game 2, 8-of-8 in Game 3, 9-of-9 in Game 4 and 3-of-3 in Game 5.

    Gordon’s current streak of 35-straight is a Chicago franchise record, topping the old high water mark of 27-straight set by Chet Walker in 1975. According to the 2006-07 Official NBA Register, the league record for most free throws made in a seven-game series without a miss is 35 by Jack Sikma (Milwaukee) versus Boston in 1987.

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    Wire to Wire:
    Chicago never trailed in its 108-92 victory over Detroit in Game 5 (05/15), marking the first time the Bulls led a playoff game wire to wire since a 97-85 win over the Utah Jazz in Game 2 of The Finals on June 4, 1997. Game 5 at Detroit featured just two ties (first quarter at 2-2 and 4-4), before Ben Gordon’s three-pointer with 10:02 remaining in the first quarter gave the Bulls the lead for good.

    Sweep Home Chicago:
    While the Bulls became the first team to sweep a defending NBA champion in the first round best-of-seven series, it was not the first time that the League champ was swept out of the playoffs. In fact, it has now happened six times (only twice in the opening round), including two times at the hands of Chicago. Bulls broadcaster Johnny “Red” Kerr was a member of the 1957 Syracuse Nationals team that swept the defending champion Philadelphia Warriors (2-0) in the first round of the postseason to become the first team in NBA history to eliminate a defending champion via a sweep in the first round.

    In addition to sweeping the Heat this year, the Bulls swept the defending champion Pistons (4-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals) in 1991 en route to the franchise’s first NBA title.