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Sunday, March 31, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 95, Pistons 94

By Nick Friedell



CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls squeezed out a 95-94 win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night at the United Center.

How it happened: Playing without Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Rip Hamilton and Marco Belinelli yet again, the Bulls bounced back from a tough loss Saturday afternoon to the Dallas Mavericks to pick up a hard-fought victory. Luol Deng had a huge night in scoring 28 points, grabbing nine rebounds and making several big plays down the stretch. Jimmy Butler added 16 points and four rebounds, while Nate Robinson chipped in with 16 points of his own off the bench.

What it means: The Bulls have the type of character trait that every team needs -- resiliency. After a gut-wrenching loss to the Mavs, the Bulls easily could have folded up against a weak Pistons team. But they found a way to scratch out their 40th win of the year. As usual, Deng led the way for coach Tom Thibodeau and continued to make plays up until the end. Given the way Saturday's game unfolded, it was impressive to see Butler respond with a solid outing. He and Robinson were the spark plugs for a team that was in need of some.

Hits: The Bulls' bench, composed of Taj Gibson, Daequan Cook and Robinson, combined for 37 points.

Misses: Starters Nazr Mohammed and Kirk Hinrich were a combined 1-for-9 from the field.

Stat of the night: The Bulls went to the free throw line a season high 40 times.

What's next: The Bulls face off against the Washington Wizards on the road Tuesday night.