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Apr 10, 2024 12:40 pm

Bulls seeking home game in play-in tourney, visit Pistons

chicago Bulls, detroit Pistons

The Chicago Bulls essentially have one thing to play for during the remainder of their schedule.

They already know they’ll face Atlanta as the Nos. 9 and 10 seeds in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament. The only thing that hasn’t been decided is which team will host that game.

Chicago has done very little to help its cause in recent weeks. The Bulls, who have three regular season games remaining, have gone 3-7 over their last 10 outings.

They’ll get a juicy matchup on Thursday when they travel to Detroit to face the woeful Pistons.

Chicago (37-42) dropped its regular season home finale 128-117 to the New York Knicks on Tuesday. Coach Billy Donovan was furious at his team for its careless play, which was epitomized during a fastbreak early in the second quarter.

Torrey Craig bounced the ball off the backboard, attempting to make a fancy dunk. Andre Drummond, who was trailing the play, thought Craig was setting him up for a slam. Drummond collided with Craig and the ball bounced into the hands of a Knicks rebounder.

Craig admitted it was an unnecessary play.

“Just wanted to create some excitement, try to give us an edge and create some momentum for us,” he said. “Obviously, I didn’t know Drummond was going to jump out there with me. It was a miscommunication. At the end of the day, I just gotta lay the ball up. I’ll take the blame on that.”

Donovan quickly called timeout and ripped into his team.

“To me it was just really disappointing,” Donovan said. “I’m not going to get into what I said. But down by 10, there was a lot of self-induced things that I think we contributed to. Not only that play but other plays that maybe weren’t as loud as that. But that play was disappointing to me. I don’t care who he was throwing the ball to. We don’t need to be doing that. I’m not going to get into everything I said on the bench. That’s not what I’m about and it’s not about what we should be about.”

To make matters worse, Drummond sprained his left ankle a short time later when he stepped on Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein’s foot. Chicago’s loss ensured it would finish the regular season with a losing record.

Detroit (13-66) needs to win its last three games just to equal its worst record in franchise history. The Pistons have lost five straight and 13 of their last 14 games.

In their latest outing, the Pistons were defeated by Philadelphia, 120-102. Detroit trailed 71-70 midway through the third but the Sixers finished the quarter with a 19-8 run. Detroit didn’t get closer than nine points the rest of the way.

“Came up short,” Pistons coach Monty Williams said. “We had that moment when it was a one-point game, I thought their physicality kind of took us out of our pace and the ball stuck. We just couldn’t get enough movement and pace, (which) was giving us some life in the second quarter, and in particular, the third quarter.”

Pistons star Cade Cunningham has missed the last four games due to left knee management.

–Field Level Media

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