Jennings leads Pistons to fourth straight victory
CHICAGO (AP) — Brandon Jennings and Detroit’s big men helped the Pistons to a rare win in Chicago.
Jennings scored 33 points and the Pistons beat the short-handed Bulls 92-75 on Saturday night for their fourth consecutive victory.
Andre Drummond (14 rebounds), Greg Monroe (12) and Josh Smith (10) led Detroit to a 51-44 rebounding edge as the Pistons (10-10) stretched their road winning streak to four games dating to Nov. 24.
It was Detroit’s first regular-season win in Chicago since Feb. 24, 2006. The Pistons’ previous victory at the United Center occurred during the 2007 playoffs.
“Our defense really stepped up,” Jennings said. “Everybody was talking, looking to rebound. That’s probably the best second half we’ve had all year.”
It was a season-low point total for the Bulls (8-10), who shot 33 percent from the floor while playing without leading scorer Luol Deng. The small forward was sidelined by tightness in his left calf.
Taj Gibson led Chicago with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Mike Dunleavy Jr. scored 16 and Carlos Boozer finished with 13 points.
The Pistons outscored the Bulls 24-9 in the third quarter to break away from a first-half tie.
“We had a hard time scoring, we had a hard time covering the (3-point) line,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “It’s the challenge of the league. You have a good win, and then the thing that you’re concerned with is how quickly everything can change.”
Chicago has lost seven of its last nine games, but was coming off a 20-point win over Miami on Thursday.
“We lose a guy, and now you’re starting a different group, then your bench changes,” Thibodeau said.
Deng is day to day. Already without star point guard Derrick Rose, the Bulls were missing their two best scorers, and it showed.
Kirk Hinrich had five turnovers, four assists and four steals in 36 minutes. Marquis Teague had 10 points in 17 minutes. He came in averaging 10 minutes per game.
After scoring 11 in the first quarter, Boozer didn’t score again until the final two minutes.
Gibson was especially active on the offensive glass. He battled for two offensive boards and a putback on one possession three minutes into the second quarter.
Jennings made 12 of 22 shots from the floor, including a 5-for-8 performance from 3-point range. The Pistons shot 12 for 19 from beyond the arc overall.
“He made plays when we really needed him to make plays — and I think that’s where he’s evolving,” Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks said of the 24-year-old Jennings. “We need him to play like and shoot the ball the way he’s capable of shooting the ball.”
Kyle Singler scored 12 points for Detroit, and Josh Harrellson had 10.
Detroit went 6 for 8 from 3-point range in the first half to make up for an inability to finish inside. The Pistons failed to convert a bunch of opportunities under the rim but the game was tied at 47 at halftime.
NOTES: Both Gibson and Joakim Noah were whistled for technical fouls. … Deng said an MRI revealed “everything is fine” with the injury. “My mindset is to be ready for the next game,” he said. … Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey left in the second quarter with a sore left knee and did not return. He finished with two points in 10 minutes.