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Published: Thu, December 08, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Pistons' Jackson, Bulls' Rondo have things to prove

Pistons' Jackson, Bulls' Rondo have things to prove

Detroit Pistons guard Darrun Hilliard, left, celebrates a three-point shot with Ish Smith (14) against the Chicago Bulls in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Auburn Hills, Mich., Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016.

Andre Drummond added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons, who won for the fourth time in five games. Hilliard scored nine points on 4-of-7 shooting over 17 minutes Tuesday, with his one 3-pointer in the fourth quarter giving the Pistons a 83-75 lead with 7:28 remaining.

Not only would blowing a large lead have been an embarrassing development for the Pistons (12-11), but the Bulls were completing a dreaded four-games-in-five-nights stretch.

But Rajon Rondo, who was suspended for Monday night's game against the Blazers, scored five points in a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to four at 23-19. "We've got a lot of home games coming up and we need to do a better job of coming out with energy and playing well at home". Butler and Taj Gibson both had eight points in the period, while Drummond didn't score for Detroit. I think in defensive coverage and rotations, I was a little rusty, and then just finding guys a little bit quicker.

Ish Smith was a playground maestro at the Palace tonight, pushing the pace and making smart passes like a teenager on Red Bull in a Toyota Prius. There's a chance Jackson could be held out on Wednesday against the Hornets.

The fourth quarter was the ultimate sign of the Bulls weariness. Marco Belinelli was instrumental off the bench with 16 points and six rebounds, while Jeremy Lamb contributed with 14 points, five rebounds, and three assists.

Butler returned-though getting heavy duty now with 43 minutes Tuesday-with the Bulls trailing 40-26 with 8:39 left and put together his own run of 10 straight points and finishing a Wade lob for a dunk to end the half trailing just 51-44.

That 3 was a big one he made, ” Van Gundy said.

Tobias Harris, the only starter who played throughout the quarter, led a balanced attack with 22 points as Pistons rebounded after squandering a 17-point, first-half lead. "He said, 'Keep me out there, coach; I feel good.' Unfortunately we couldn't quite get it done".

"It's a battle of wills at that point", Leuer said. Drummond played for a few minutes, until the Chicago Bulls started fouling him intentionally.

"We're hitting a rough patch right now and you've got to find a way to fight through that", he said.

"Whenever you win, everything's fine and dandy", Butler said. "I think we all love Rondo". Their defense has certainly been problematic in the final frame (106.8 DRtg, 18th), which is something Butler has harped on time and time again, and did again last night. "We have to stop digging holes for ourselves". "As they should. They have the right to do so, but you win a couple games and this is all behind us". Let us know in the comments section below.

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