I'm buried in work over here and don't have time for a proper recap, but let's just say it wasn't pretty. It was a game of runs the entire night, and although the Pistons had a 14-2 tear in the final minutes, it wasn't enough.
Carlos Delfino made the mistake of fouling Kirk Hinrich behind the three-point line with less than three seconds left, and although Hinrich only made two, Tayshaun Prince's shot at the buzzer came up horribly short. From the Freep:
"I feel bad, all day," said Delfino, who had a similar gaffe earlier this season. "We hustled all the last quarter to get in the game ... I feel bad because this is not the first time."
The Dolphin is referring to a game against the Pacers in December, though I don't think anyone really remembers that game for his miscue since that was the game that Chauncey Billups went down with his calf injury.
Considering the Pistons were without Rip Hamilton and Chris Webber due to illness, the end result isn't surprising, though the way it played out was indeed frustrating. Don't tell that to Antonio McDyess, though. From the News:
What would it say about the legitimacy of the Bulls if they couldn't beat a depleted Pistons team at home? What would it say about their legitimacy if the Pistons were able to take them to the wire?
"I don't really care what it would say," said Antonio McDyess, after the Bulls held off a furious Pistons' rally and escaped United Center with the victory. "We should have won the game."
Ben Wallace grabbed 19 boards, which surprised me since it didn't seem like he was dominating the game, but I guess that's just because there were a ton of rebounds to be had. Aside from one decent (56%) second quarter, the Pistons and Bulls shot horribly the entire night. Chicago, in fact, shot just 35.7%, which usually doesn't equate to victory in this league, though it can when you out-rebound the other team by 14, including 11 on the offensive end. As a result, the Bulls finished with nine more field goal attempts and 10 more free throws, making it all the more remarkable they won by just two points.
Rasheed Wallace picked up his 19th technical, though for what I can't say. As Ree pointed out in the comments, he gets so many these days that the announcers don't even bother explaining what happened. Honestly, I can't blame them, because I don't think even they know. Flip Saunders and Chauncey Billups each got technicals of their own. In a two-point loss, it's too bad that three free throws were awarded to the other team just for talking smack to the refs, but it's not surprising given the refs' hair-trigger with the Pistons.
Not only is this recap late, it's going to be short, but if you're a masochist that wants to really delve into the details of this loss, you may find these useful:
- Need4Sheed: Bulls Edge Pistons 83-81
- Detroit News: Pistons rally late but Bulls hang on
- Detroit Free Press: Pistons' rally falls short
- MLive.com: Depleted Pistons fall to Ben and the Bulls