When the Bulls easily handled the Miami Heat last Thursday, it seemed like the kind of victory that could help the team put together a string of wins. But befallen by another injury, the mentally tough team were overcome by a hot-shooting Detroit Pistons team on Sunday and handed an embarrassing 92-75 loss.
“Well that’s the challenge of the league,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. “You have a good win, and then the thing you’re concerned with is how quickly everything can change. We lose a guy, and now we’re starting a different group, then the bench changes. We’ve got to get back into that gym, we’ve got to work. We have enough.’’
The Pistons shot 12-for-19 from 3-point range for an opponent’s season-high of 63.2. The Bulls were held to (8-10) 33 percent shooting to hand them their second loss at home on the season and Detroit’s first win at the United Center since Feb. 24, 2006 as they had lost 14 straight in Chicago.
Taj Gibson, who started in place of Luol Deng because of a sore left Achilles kept the small forward from suiting up, scored a team-high 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Mike Dunleavy added 16 points.
“We’ve just got to let this one slide off our backs until we figure out a way to win,’’ Gibson said. “We’ve got a lot of guys out, a lot of guys hurt. It’s real frustrating because you’re not really getting a chance to get a rhythm because there’s always one guy banged up from the night before. It’s tough, but we’ve just got to keep pushing.’’
After being tied 47-47 at halftime, the Bulls put up an unforgettable third quarter that took them right out of the game as they missed 16 of 20 shots and committed seven turnovers, while being outscored 24-9.
“The first half was very good until the last two minutes,’’ Thibodeau said. “We were up 47-41 and they went 6-0 to close out the second quarter, and then the 24-9 in the third gave them a cushion. They got away from us and we were trying to keep it to within 10, like work our way back into the game. We had a hard time scoring, a hard time covering the line, and those two things got us.’’
Brandon Jennings scored a game-high 33 points for Detroit.
The Bulls will have two days to regroup before a stretch of four games in five nights begins on Tuesday vs. the Milwaukee Bucks.