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Bulls 99, Pistons 79

The SportsXchange

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Small forward Luol Deng scored a season-high 27 points as the Chicago Bulls snapped a four-game losing streak by toppling the Detroit Pistons 99-79 on Wednesday at The Palace.

Forward Taj Gibson had a season-high 23 points for Chicago (7-7), which has defeated the Pistons in 19 of the last 20 meetings. Point guard Kirk Hinrich delivered 13 points and seven assists and rookie guard Tony Snell, who was making his second career start, scored a career-high 13 points.

Reserve guard Rodney Stuckey poured in 25 points for Detroit (6-9), which had won two straight. Forward Josh Smith (13 points, 11 rebounds) and center Andre Drummond (10 points, 11 rebounds) added double-doubles. The Pistons shot 10 for 36 from the field after the break.

After allowing the Pistons to shoot 58.5 percent in the first half, Chicago defenders were much more active during the third quarter. The Bulls forced eight turnovers while outscoring Detroit 25-15.

Stuckey got the Pistons into the bonus early in the fourth by driving to the basket and drawing contact. He shot six free throws in the first four minutes but the Bulls maintained the lead.

When center Joakim Noah (13 points) made a reverse layup with 6:12 left, the Bulls had their first double-digit advantage at 86-75. Hinrich's three-point play with 4:59 remaining extended the lead to 14 and the Pistons never threatened from that point.

Both teams were lifted by bench players during the first half, which ended with Detroit leading 53-51. Stuckey, who leads all Eastern Conference reserves with a 15.9-point average, scored 15 by the break. Gibson matched his season high during a 12-minute stint in which he scored 15 on 7-for-8 shooting.

NOTES: Bulls SG Jimmy Butler missed his fifth straight game with a sprained toe. Detroit G Chauncey Billups didn't play for the eighth consecutive game because of knee tendinitis. ... Pistons coach Mo Cheeks called Chicago PG Derrick Rose's season-ending knee injury a loss for the entire league. Rose tore the medial meniscus in his right knee on Friday. "He plays the game with such passion," Cheeks said. "When you lose a player like that, it's a blow for everyone because we all look forward to seeing him out there." ... Rose's injury has ratcheted up trade rumors involving the Bulls. The latest has Cleveland shopping second-year SG Dion Walters, with Chicago SF Luol Deng as a possible target. "You're starting to hear about it now. Usually, it's later in the season around the trade deadline," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "For every 100 that get talked about, one gets done. So, the likelihood of something happening is small." ... Chicago completes its string of six consecutive road games at Cleveland on Saturday, while the Pistons continue their four-game homestand against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. ... Boxer Floyd Mayweather had a courtside view, 10 seats down from Detroit owner Tom Gores.
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