National Basketball Association
Detroit at Chicago
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
The Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls are both on the wrong side of the playoff ledger as they meet Wednesday for a pivotal game in Chicago. The Pistons are in ninth place and the Bulls reside in 10th as the two teams try to catch Miami and Milwaukee, who hold the final two Eastern Conference postseason spots.
Both clubs lost ground on Tuesday as Detroit suffered a 98-96 loss to lowly Brooklyn while Chicago dropped a 122-120 overtime decision to Toronto. The Bulls have been collapsing under second-year coach Fred Hoiberg, losing eight of 10 games since defeating Golden State on March 2. The Pistons have lost four of their last five contests, including the setback against the Nets in the opener of a four-game road trip - which greatly irritated coach Stan Van Gundy. "In the locker room, the guys had some stuff to say themselves," Van Gundy told reporters. "Somebody said, 'I hope this is a wake-up call,' and I almost started laughing. I mean, we're 71 games in. A wake-up call? Come on, we've been doing this all year."TV:
8 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, WGN (Chicago)ABOUT THE PISTONS (34-37):
The damaging loss to Brooklyn saw Detroit recover from an 11-point, fourth-quarter deficit - only to see Nets center Brook Lopez drain the winning jumper as time expired. The contest also featured starting point guard Reggie Jackson on the bench as Van Gundy limited him to 20 minutes in which he scored in single digits (seven points) for the third time in five games. Forward Tobias Harris recorded 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting against Brooklyn after struggling to eight on 2-of-10 shooting two nights earlier versus Phoenix.
ABOUT THE BULLS (33-38):
Chicago figures to be without center Robin Lopez after he was ejected from Tuesday's game for fighting with Raptors forward Serge Ibaka. Both players threw punches and Lopez already was saying after the contest that he knows he will be punished by the league as players routinely draw suspensions when a fracas only involves shoving. "Obviously, he's going to be suspended. We know that," All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler told reporters after producing a 37-point effort. "We're going to miss that guy, but what's new? Next man up."BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Pistons are 2-1 against the Bulls this season and have won five of the last seven meetings.
2. Detroit C Andre Drummond is averaging 19 rebounds over his last three games.
3. Chicago PG Rajon Rondo scored a season-best 24 points against Toronto for his second 20-point performance of the season - with both coming over the last five contests.PREDICTION:
Bulls 99, Pistons 94
Stats and Records