Bulls hope to stay alive in Detroit
(Sports Network) – The Chicago Bulls try to stave off elimination again, as
they visit the Detroit Pistons tonight at The Palace of Auburn Hills for Game
5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Detroit leads this best-of-seven series 3-1. If necessary, Game 6 is scheduled
for Thursday at the United Center.
On Sunday, Luol Deng scored 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting and grabbed 13
rebounds as the fifth-seeded Bulls held off another fourth-quarter rally to
beat the top-seeded Pistons, 102-87, in Game 4 at the United Center
Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon scored 19 points apiece in the victory for
Chicago. Hinrich also dished out 10 assists, while Ben Wallace posted a
double-double with 11 points and 17 rebounds against his former team.
Chauncey Billups scored 23 points and handed out eight assists, while Tayshaun
Prince ended with 18 points and seven rebounds in the loss for Detroit.
Rasheed Wallace finished with 14 points and seven boards for the Pistons, who
shot 37.3 percent from the field, including 24 percent from beyond the arc.
The Pistons, who swept No. 8 Orlando in the opening round of the postseason,
have won two of their last three Game 5s in the postseason. Detroit, which has
made it to at least the conference semifinals for a sixth straight year, has
appeared in the East finals four straight years.
Chicago has lost three straight Games 5s. The Bulls swept the fourth-
seeded Miami Heat in round one of the postseason.
There is a lot of playoff history between Chicago and Detroit. This is the
sixth time these clubs have battled in the postseason. The Pistons have won
three of the five series.
Chicago eliminated the Pistons in seven games in the 1974 Western Conference
semifinals and swept Detroit, 4-0, in the 1991 Eastern Conference finals.
The Pistons beat the Bulls in five, 4-1, in the 1988 East semis. They also
knocked out Chicago in the Eastern Conference finals in 1989 (4-2) and 1990
Detroit won its fifth Central Division title in the past six seasons during
the 2006-07 campaign. The Pistons, who have reached the postseason for a sixth
straight year, fell in six games against the Miami Heat in last year’s Eastern
Conference Finals. The Pistons are the No. 1 seed for the third time in four
years and own home-court advantage throughout the East playoffs.
Chicago, which advanced past the opening round of the playoffs for the first
time since 1998 when it last won the NBA title, are in the playoffs for the
third straight year and 28th time in team history.