'It was embarrassing': Pistons fall flat against Bulls, losing streak reaches five
Chicago — After a grueling, condensed schedule in the first couple of weeks of the season, the Pistons were due a break. After playing on Friday, they had four days off, with three practices.
The results didn’t show immediately.
The Pistons produced another dud performance, falling to the Chicago Bulls for the second time this season, 109-89, on Wednesday night at United Center. It’s the fifth straight loss for the Pistons (4-10), who erased a 13-point deficit in the first quarter but struggled to make anything in the third quarter.
Derrick Rose had 18 points, Blake Griffin 16 points and eight rebounds and Luke Kennard 14 points, but a poor second half was the downfall. The Pistons shot 8-of-36 from the field and just 2-of-15 on 3-pointers, which had been a strength this season.
“(Poor shooting) didn’t affect our game tonight. Defensively, it was a lack of effort tonight; it was embarrassing,” said guard Langston Galloway, who had 13 points. “We have to step it up and take it to another level. We have to be better.
“We have to come out with better effort and better starts in the first quarter and third quarter. We have to find our way out of this; we’re in a deep hole.”
Lauri Markkanen had 24 points and six rebounds, Shaquille Harrison 15 points, 11 rebounds and five assists and Thomas Satoransky 15 points and seven assists and for the Bulls (5-10), who ended their three-game skid.
The Pistons’ slow start dug them into a 19-6 hole in the first six minutes, as Markkanen scored seven of the Bulls’ first 10 points. Harrison hit a 3-pointer and Carter added a putback for the 13-point margin.
The Pistons responded with a 28-11 run over the next seven minutes, fueled by Galloway, who had three 3-pointers and a reverse lay-in during the spurt. His first 3-pointer tied it and the second gave the Pistons their largest lead, 28-24, at the 1:38 mark.
Galloway started the second quarter with a 4-point play and the Bulls answered with an 8-0 run, including a 3-pointer and a free throw from Ryan Arcidiacono. The Pistons didn’t regain the lead the rest of the way.
Rose converted a three-point play and Christian Wood (12 points and 10 rebounds) added a dunk off a feed from Bruce Brown to tie it at 51, but Markkanen hit a 3-pointer and officials ruled a flagrant foul. Markkanen hit the free throw and on the ensuing possession, Markkanen hit a lay-in making it a six-point trip and pushing the margin to six.
The Pistons, who were one of the best-shooting teams in the league so far this season, went cold from the field. After shooting 44 percent from the field in the first half, they went just 3-of-21 in the third quarter and 1-of-7 from beyond the arc.
In the first half, the Pistons had just six turnovers, but got sloppy in the second half, with 11 more. They have averaged 17.5 turnovers per game and the Bulls converted those into 24 points.
“It’s second-half turnovers again and it’s something we’ve been preaching about and trying to get over,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “Our missed shots took our defensive energy — what little we had. Our main bugaboo is our turnovers, just gifting them points. It’s back to the drawing board.”
The Bulls built the lead to 22 with a 15-6 spurt to start the fourth quarter and the Pistons couldn’t make up the difference.
For the remainder of the week, the Pistons will have three games in four nights, hosting the Hawks on Friday night at Little Caesars Arena before traveling to Milwaukee on Saturday night. There won’t be another three-day stretch of practice time before the All-Star break.
“It’s frustrating because Coach isn’t practicing us too hard,” Galloway said. “We have to take care of him and reward his efforts for taking care of our bodies.”