Detroit (16-13) at Chicago (10-17)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Chicago, IL
Temp: 55° F
  • Game info: 8:30 pm EST Mon Jan 3, 2005
  • TV: FSD, CSCH
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Slowly but surely, the Detroit Pistons are rounding into form.

The Pistons seek a fifth win in six games when they try to avenge an earlier loss to the Chicago Bulls.

Detroit has struggled to find consistency in a season that has featured plenty of distractions, including the brawl with Indiana on Nov. 19. The Pistons have yet to win more than three straight.

Despite these problems, Detroit’s 16-13 record equals its mark last season at this time. The Pistons then asserted themselves by running off a 13-game winning streak.

Rasheed Wallace had 23 points and 12 rebounds as Detroit beat Boston 100-88 on Sunday. A solid first half that featured 51.2 percent shooting by the Pistons created a 53-39 halftime lead—their first double-digit intermission advantage at home this season.

“That’s the way we are supposed to play,” Wallace said. “Now we just have to repeat that performance anew.”

Detroit also received a boost from its bench when seldom-used Ronald Dupree scored all 11 of his points in the first half.

The Pistons are playing the second of six straight sets of back-to-back games and welcomed the help from the reserves.

“That was great,” Detroit guard Chauncey Billups said. “Ron’s an energy guy who plays great defense, and we needed it. He was trying to get offensive rebounds and take things away from them on their offensive end.”

Chicago is 10-8 after an 0-9 start and won at Detroit 89-82 on Dec. 22. The Bulls have won four of their last five home games after a 105-90 victory over Orlando on Saturday.

Eddy Curry scored 22 points and Kirk Hinrich added 18 as Chicago led by as many as 25 points in building a 60-37 halftime cushion. Rookie Ben Gordon scored 18 points off the bench for the Bulls.

“We were lucky enough to get on them early and we kind of coasted the rest of the way,” Hinrich said.

Hinrich also turned in some effective defense on Magic guard Steve Francis, who made 3-of-12 shots for 12 points.

“Francis is right up there one on one with one of the hardest guys to guard, and for whatever reason Kirk has been able now to keep him in front and make him take tougher shots,” Bulls coach Scott Skiles said.

The Bulls are 8-3 when Curry scores at least 18 points.

Chicago is seeking to end an eight-game home skid against Detroit.

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