Detroit Pistons lose 5th straight in 20-point setback, 109-89, at Chicago


Associated Press

CHICAGO — After struggling with his shot for weeks, Lauri Markkanen said busting out of a slump Wednesday night was as simple as seeing the ball go through the basket.

“The shot’s been feeling good the whole time,î” he said. ì“That’s why it was frustrating to see it come out. It feels good to see a couple go in.”

Markkanen scored 24 points on 7-for-14 shooting, Wendell Carter Jr. had 12 points and 15 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons 109-89.

It was Markkanen’s first 20-point game since scoring 35 points on opening night. Tomas Satoransky and Shaquille Harrison each had 15 points as the Bulls snapped a three-game losing streak.

“I thought he was aggressive, I thought he ran the floor, I thought he got two real good ones at the rim early where he ran the floor,î” Chicago coach Jim Boylen said of Markkanen. “I thought his effort was really good, and I thought he locked in defensively.î”

Derrick Rose had 18 points and Blake Griffin — in just his third game of the season — added 16 as the Pistons dropped their fifth straight.

“Defensively, it was a lack of effort tonight,î” Pistons forward Langston Galloway said. “It was embarrassing, it really is embarrassing. We have to fight our way out of this. We’re in a deep hole right now. We really have to step it up.”

The Bulls won the first meeting between the teams 112-106 on Nov. 1, also at the United Center.

Detroit’s Andre Drummond finished with six points and 14 rebounds before fouling out with six minutes to go. Drummond had 25 points and 24 rebounds against the Bulls three weeks ago.

Markkanen, who entered the game shooting just 36.2% from the field, had 15 first-half points on 5-for-8 shooting (including 2 for 2 on 3-pointers) as Chicago took a 59-55 halftime lead.

That included an incredible six points on one possession late in the second quarter. Markkanen hit a 3-pointer while being fouled by Drummond, who was assessed a flagrant foul after review. Markkanen hit the free throw to complete the four-point play and then scored on a driving layup after the Bulls inbounded the ball.

That stretch snapped a tie at 51 and gave the Bulls a 57-51 lead with 1:55 left.