The Chicago Bulls couldn't carry the momentum over from their big win against the streaking Miami Heat and look to bounce back Sunday versus the Central rival Detroit Pistons.
After dismantling Miami's 27-game winning streak -- the second longest in NBA history -- the Bull suffered a letdown in Saturday's 100-98 loss at Dallas. Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki scored his team's final eight points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left.
Carlos Boozer recorded a double-double with 25 points and 11 boards, while Luol Deng and Nate Robinson also added 25 points apiece for the Bulls, who entered the game riding a three-game winning streak.
"This was definitely a tough loss," Chicago guard Kirk Hinrich said. "We just didn't finish it out. They have a lot of guys with lots of experience and I give them credit."
The playoff-bound Bulls are back home where they have won two in a row and own a 20-16 record. Chicago is currently sixth in the Eastern Conference, one-half game behind Atlanta and two back of Brooklyn.
Chicago hopes Joakim Noah (foot) and Marco Belinelli (abdomen) can make a healthy return versus the Pistons. Belinelli has missed three straight games and Noah has been sidelined the past four.
After hosting Detroit, the Bulls will visit Washington and Brooklyn.
The Pistons will close out what has been a brutal March and are 1-12 this month. The losing ways continued with Friday's 99-82 setback versus Toronto as Jonas Jerebko and Andre Drummond scored 20 and 17 points, respectively, for the Pistons, who have dropped two in a row since ending a 10-game slide last weekend at Charlotte.
Detroit has dropped eight in a row at home. The Raptors trailed 14-4 early on, but eventually grabbed an 82-60 lead thanks to a 23-5 run. Toronto led by as many as 27 points in the fourth quarter.
"The bottom line is, we have to get tired of getting embarrassed," said Pistons coach Lawrence Frank. "At the end of the day, we're all professionals and you have to be motivated by competition. That's the deal. And to come into our building again and be embarrassed like we were; it hurts."
Frank's squad has been banged up lately. Guard Will Bynum (hand) and forward Charlie Villanueva (illness) are questionable for Sunday's game, while guard Brandon Knight (ankle/nose) is doubtful against the Bulls.
Greg Monroe had 11 points and 13 rebounds in the loss to the Raptors and owns a career-high 33 double-doubles on the season. Drummond, a rookie, made his first career start because of the injuries and returned after missing 22 games with a back problem.
The Pistons will start a four-game road trip in Chicago and are 9-26 outside of Auburn Hills this season. They have lost the first two meetings with the Bulls this season and will host them on April 7.
Detroit is winless in the last 17 meetings with Chicago and 2-22 in the previous 24 encounters against the Central rivals. The Pistons are also riding a 13-game winless streak in the Windy City. Noah is averaging 20.0 points and 16.5 rebounds against the Pistons this season.