CHI
DET

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Griffin leads Pistons to 99-83 win over Bulls

DETROIT (AP) The Detroit Pistons knew they couldn't afford another loss on Friday if they wanted to have any chance of keeping in touch of a playoff spot.

For 18 minutes, it appeared they might come up short for a fifth straight game, but they finished strongly to post a 99-83 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Chicago led 39-29 midway through the second quarter, but Detroit outscored the Bulls 70-44 in the last 2 1/2 quarters.

''I thought our defense was pretty good all night, but the offense didn't really get going until the second quarter,'' Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. ''After that, we played really well.''

The Pistons needed the victory as they prepare for a six-game road trip caused by the NCAA men's basketball tournament games coming to Little Caesars Arena. All six games are against Western Conference opponents.

''We had to get this one, just to give ourselves some confidence going on the road,'' James Ennis said. ''We didn't have a great start, but we focused on stringing together some stops and making some shots.''

Blake Griffin had 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and is averaging 28 points in his last four games.

''Blake wants to win basketball games,'' Ennis said. ''That's how superstars play.''

The Pistons (30-36) had lost 10 of 12 to fall five games out of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Reggie Bullock added 21 points while Andre Drummond had 17 rebounds.

''Blake and Reggie are very good basketball players, so it isn't a surprise that the chemistry there has come quickly,'' Van Gundy said.

Chicago (22-43) had won two of three after a five-game losing streak. Cameron Payne led the Bulls with 17 points, while Kris Dunn was the only other player to reach double figures with 13.

''I thought we came out really well, but we missed a lot of shots,'' Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. ''When you shoot 35 percent on the road, you aren't going to give yourself much of a chance, plus 14 turnovers.''

The Pistons took their first lead of the game on two free throws by Griffin that put them ahead 49-47 with 1.1 seconds left in the first half. The Bulls had led by as many as 10 points in the second quarter.

Griffin had 15 points in the half, while Bullock added 10. Robin Lopez had nine for Chicago, but the Bulls starters were outscored 41-32 in the half.

Detroit took control of the game in the third quarter, starting the period with a 14-5 run that put them ahead 63-52. Griffin and Bullock combined for 10 points in the run.

Eric Moreland's layup at the buzzer gave the Pistons a 73-62 lead going into the fourth quarter. Chicago never made a significant run from there.

''I don't think we had a lack of effort,'' Hoiberg said. ''We held them under 100 points, so that's a positive.''

TIP-INS

Bulls: Bobby Portis was called for a flagrant 1 foul early in the third quarter for hitting Drummond in the head on an attempted dunk. The Pistons didn't score, as Drummond missed both free throws before Bullock missed a 3-pointer . Lopez made the third 3-pointer of his career, all of which have come this season.

Pistons: Backup point guard Dwight Buycks missed the game with a sprained left ankle sustained while helping Reggie Jackson rehab his own ankle injury. ... The Pistons only play two home games in the first 23 days of March due to the Horizon League men's and women's basketball tournaments and the NCAA tournament.

GORES ON VAN GUNDY

Pistons owner Tom Gores spoke to the media at halftime about Van Gundy's future as coach and team president. ''We haven't won enough, but this team works very hard and Stan works very hard,'' Gores said. ''We'll talk about things after the season, but I'm not giving up on Stan or this team.''

Van Gundy said after the game that he's not concerned. ''I've never had a better relationship with an owner, and I know Tom is going to make the decision that is the best one for the franchise,'' he said. ''I'm not apprehensive about that. I'm losing sleep over the fact we had lost 10 of 12.''

UP NEXT

Bulls: At the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.

Pistons: At the Utah Jazz on Tuesday.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
Z. LaVine
8 PG
B. Griffin
23 PF
34.1 Min. Per Game 34.1
21.7 Pts. Per Game 21.7
5.5 Ast. Per Game 5.5
7.5 Reb. Per Game 7.5
38.9 Field Goal % 43.6
39.3 Three Point % 43.4
77.8 Free Throw % 78.4
+ 2 Antonio Blakeney made jump shot 0:13
  Defensive rebound by Noah Vonleh 0:18
  Henry Ellenson missed jump shot 0:22
+ 1 Cristiano Felicio made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:33
+ 1 Cristiano Felicio made 1st of 2 free throws 0:33
  Personal foul on Eric Moreland 0:33
  Team rebound 0:33
  Noah Vonleh missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:35
  Offensive foul on Luke Kennard 0:43
  Offensive foul on Luke Kennard 0:43
  Defensive rebound by Andre Drummond 0:55
Team Stats
Points 83 99
Field Goals 33-93 (35.5%) 38-81 (46.9%)
3-Pointers 9-31 (29.0%) 9-27 (33.3%)
Free Throws 8-10 (80.0%) 14-18 (77.8%)
Total Rebounds 53 56
Offensive 10 11
Defensive 32 39
Team 11 6
Assists 19 22
Steals 11 8
Blocks 0 9
Turnovers 13 16
Fouls 20 13
Technicals 0 1
K. Dunn PG 32
13 PTS, 1 REB, 4 AST
25 PTS, 8 REB, 8 AST
1234T
away team logo Bulls 22-43 2621152183
home team logo Pistons 30-36 2128242699
Team Stats
away team logo Bulls 22-43 PPG RPG APG
home team logo Pistons 30-36 PPG RPG APG
Key Players
C. Payne PG 8.8 PPG 2.8 RPG 4.5 APG 40.5 FG%
B. Griffin PF 19.8 PPG 6.6 RPG 6.2 APG 43.3 FG%
Top Scorers
C. Payne PG 17 PTS 1 REB 0 AST
B. Griffin PF 25 PTS 8 REB 8 AST
35.5 FG% 46.9
29.0 3PT FG% 33.3
80.0 FT% 77.8
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Dunn 25 13 1 4 3 0 0 3 6/12 1/2 0/0 0 1 25 -12
R. Lopez 12 9 2 0 0 0 0 1 4/4 1/1 0/0 0 2 11 +5
Z. LaVine 26 8 3 0 2 0 2 3 3/15 0/4 2/3 0 3 11 -17
J. Holiday 12 6 2 0 0 0 1 0 2/6 2/5 0/0 0 2 7 +5
L. Markkanen 26 6 8 2 0 0 0 0 3/12 0/3 0/0 2 6 18 -17
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Dunn 25 13 1 4 3 0 0 3 6/12 1/2 0/0 0 1 25 -12
R. Lopez 12 9 2 0 0 0 0 1 4/4 1/1 0/0 0 2 11 +5
Z. LaVine 26 8 3 0 2 0 2 3 3/15 0/4 2/3 0 3 11 -17
J. Holiday 12 6 2 0 0 0 1 0 2/6 2/5 0/0 0 2 7 +5
L. Markkanen 26 6 8 2 0 0 0 0 3/12 0/3 0/0 2 6 18 -17
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
C. Payne 22 17 1 0 2 0 2 2 6/10 4/6 1/1 0 1 18 -4
N. Vonleh 19 8 6 1 0 0 1 0 3/8 1/3 1/2 3 3 15 -5
D. Valentine 31 4 8 5 2 0 0 4 2/7 0/3 0/0 1 7 24 -11
C. Felicio 9 4 3 2 0 0 0 1 1/3 0/0 2/2 2 1 11 -3
A. Blakeney 2 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 2/2 0/0 0/0 0 1 5 +3
B. Portis 27 2 5 5 2 0 4 3 1/10 0/3 0/0 2 3 15 -12
D. Nwaba 23 2 2 0 0 0 3 2 0/4 0/1 2/2 0 2 1 -12
O. Asik - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Grant - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Eddie - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Zipser - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Arcidiacono - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 234 83 42 19 11 0 13 20 33/93 9/31 8/10 10 32 161 -80
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
B. Griffin 34 25 8 8 0 0 3 2 9/17 3/7 4/4 1 7 46 +19
R. Bullock 32 21 3 1 0 0 1 1 9/12 3/6 0/0 0 3 25 +16
J. Ennis III 31 14 3 1 3 0 1 3 6/10 2/3 0/1 2 1 21 +10
I. Smith 31 12 3 3 1 0 1 0 5/10 0/0 2/2 0 3 21 +19
A. Drummond 29 5 17 1 1 4 0 0 2/7 0/0 1/4 4 13 29 +18
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
B. Griffin 34 25 8 8 0 0 3 2 9/17 3/7 4/4 1 7 46 +19
R. Bullock 32 21 3 1 0 0 1 1 9/12 3/6 0/0 0 3 25 +16
J. Ennis III 31 14 3 1 3 0 1 3 6/10 2/3 0/1 2 1 21 +10
I. Smith 31 12 3 3 1 0 1 0 5/10 0/0 2/2 0 3 21 +19
A. Drummond 29 5 17 1 1 4 0 0 2/7 0/0 1/4 4 13 29 +18
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
L. Kennard 31 10 6 4 0 1 2 1 2/9 1/6 5/5 1 5 23 +10
E. Moreland 18 8 7 1 1 3 3 3 4/5 0/0 0/0 2 5 18 -2
J. Nelson 16 4 0 3 2 1 4 3 1/5 0/2 2/2 0 0 9 -3
A. Tolliver 12 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 0/5 0/3 0/0 1 2 2 +1
H. Ellenson 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 -4
R. Hearn 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 -4
J. Leuer - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Jackson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Buycks - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Felder - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Galloway - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 236 99 50 22 8 9 16 13 38/81 9/27 14/18 11 39 194 +80