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Bulls shoot season-high to get back on track with win over Pistons

Noah notched his third triple-double of the season in the Bulls 105-94 win over Detroit
Noah notched his third triple-double of the season in the Bulls 105-94 win over Detroit
AP/Carlos Osorio

After committing a season and league-high 28 turnovers in Monday's loss to the Brooklyn Nets, you knew focus wouldn't be an issue for the Bulls the following game.

The Bulls responded with a 105-94 victory over the Detroit Pistons, winning their 10th game in the last 12 tries.

The Bulls fell behind by 12 early in the second period, but ended the first half on an 18-6 run to grab a 52-47 lead going into halftime.

After a back and forth affair in the third period, Chicago grabbed control of the game for good, beginning the fourth period with D.J. Augustine scoring 10 of his team-high 26 points during a 20-6 run that gave the Bulls a 15 point lead and ground the Pistons (24-37) couldn't cover.

''We talk about how we want to finish games, and we were real strong coming out for the fourth,'' Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters. ''Our defense was strong, and our ball movement was good. Hitting the open guy makes a big difference.''

Detroit leads the league in offensive rebounding at 14.5 per game, but the Bulls (34-27) kept them to just eight and outrebounded them 43-32. They also shot a season-high 53.8 percent.

Taj Gibson added 22, helping give the Bulls a 50-12 advantage in bench points. Jimmy Butler scored 18 points and 12 rebounds in a Luol Deng-like 46 minutes.

Joakim Noah notched his second triple-double in three games with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. It's his third triple-double this season and the sixth of his career. He becomes the first center to record three triple-doubles with assists in the same season since David Robinson did it during the 1993-94 season.

"It feels good to play well, just trying to stay focused right now," Noah told reporters. "I think our team is playing some good basketball. We have a lot of big tests coming up against some very good teams so it's going to say a lot about our team and where we stand. I'm happy we won, I'm happy that I'm playing well, healthy, things like that."

Noah did injure his right thumb during the game, sporting a protective splint, but called the injury "just a little boo-boo" and didn't think it would cause him to miss any time.

He tore the ulna collateral ligament in that same thumb during the 2010-11 season and missed 30 games following surgery.

As for the "big tests" the Bulls have coming up, a season-high six game home stand, five against teams in the playoff picture, they begin Friday against the Memphis Grizzlies.

''A lot of guys are stepping up on this team right now,'' Gibson told reporters. ''Everyone is working hard and helping in whatever way we need. The guys are just focused on the team right now.''

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