Auburn Hills, MI – Brandon Knight poured in 20 points as the Detroit Pistons snapped their 18-game losing slide to Chicago with a 99-85 victory over the Bulls at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Rodney Stuckey added 14 points for the Pistons, who had won just two of their previous 25 meetings against their Central Division rival from the Windy City. Greg Monroe chipped in 11 points and Andre Drummond had 10 rebounds.
The win came without point guard Jose Calderon, who did not play due to a triceps strain. Detroit's win also ended its eight-game losing streak at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
"It felt good," Knight said. "We were the team to not make mistakes and capitalized on their mistakes."
Jonas Jerbko went 7-of-8 from the field on his way to 17 points which he accompanied with nine rebounds. Charlie Villanueva and Khris Middleton scored 12 and 10 points, respectively, off the Pistons' bench.
Carlos Boozer paced the Bulls with 21 points and 10 rebounds, but it was not enough to make up for the absence of Luol Deng, who did not dress due to a sore hip. Nate Robinson had 18 points on 8-of-19 shooting from the floor while Joakim Noah returned to the lineup after missing the last eight games to tally 13 points and seven rebounds.
"You can't use that as an excuse," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said about playing shorthanded. "Whoever is out there, we have to go out and get the job done."
Chicago is now 42-34, which places it two games back of Brooklyn for fourth place in the Eastern Conference and just one game ahead of Atlanta.
The Bulls were in control early on and took a 9-2 lead less than four minutes after tip-off. They extended their advantage as many as 11 before Detroit generated an 11-4 run to make it a one-point affair. Jimmy Butler put in a layup in the closing seconds to send Chicago into the second quarter with a 26-23 edge on the scoreboard.
Villanueva provided a spark for Detroit with eight points in the second quarter. The Pistons jumped out to a six point lead and Knight scored their final six points of the first half help the hosts take a 50-46 lead into the intermission.
Knight carried over his momentum into the third quarter, where he netted 12 points. Detroit hit on 58.8 percent of its field goal tries in the 12 minutes after halftime while limiting the Bulls' trips to the charity stripes.
After Detroit took an eight-point lead into the fourth quarter, Knight made a reverse layup that put his squad up by double-digits for good. Chicago was limited to 41.2 percent efficiency from the field in the final frame.
Indiana clinched the Central Division crown with the Bulls' loss...Marco Belinelli returned from an injury that kept him out seven games but did not score in 20 minutes of action...Chicago went 3-of-15 from beyond the arc while Detroit knocked down 9-of-18 from 3-point range...Butler contributed 14 points and played a game-high 44:55 in the setback.