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NBA -- Rose returns, drops 24 to lead Bulls over Pistons


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- After missing four of his team's previous five games with a pair of sprained ankles. Derrick Rose returned to the Bulls line-up on Monday night and navigated Chicago to a hard-fought victory over stubborn Detroit.

Rose registered 24 points and seven assists and the Bulls held off a late Pistons charge to prevail, 102-91, in front of a sellout crowd of 21,431.

"It's great to have him on the floor because he's a difference-maker," said Bulls center Pau Gasol, who turned in a huge effort with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Chicago's other big, Joakim Noah, was similarly stellar, finishing with 13 points and 14 rebounds.

Up 60-41 with just 9 seconds left before the halftime break, it appeared as though the Bulls would have a short night. But the Pistons came storming back and eventually inched to within 90-88 following a D.J. Augustin lay-up with still 2:43 to go.

Threatened by back-to-back home losses after falling to the Celtics on Saturday, the Bulls went on a 12-3 tear the rest of the way and improved to 6-2 in the overall standings.

Jimmy Butler needled the Pistons for 19 points and his 3 in the final 1:56 proved to be a Detroit back-breaker as the Bulls padded what once a shaky four-point lead into a more comfortable 95-88 cushion.
Detroit's giant frontline of 6-foot-9 Josh Smith 6-foot-11 Greg Monroe and 6-foot-11 Andre Drummond combined for 37 points and 3 rebounds but it wasn't enough as the Pistons made only 34 of 80 field goals, a tepid 42.5 percent.

Detroit fared better from the 3-point arc, going 7-for-14, but they were out rebounded 49-46, had three less assists than Chicago, 22-19, and coughed up five more turnovers with 15.

"We didn't guard anybody. We didn't compete," a dejected Detroit head coach Stan Van Gundy told reporters outside the visitors locker room after his team fell to 2-5. (Homer D. Sayson)

Photo: Derrick Rose defies a swarm of Pistons on the way to the hoop Monday night at the United Center where the Bulls held off Detroit, 102-91.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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