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Saturday, October 30, 2010
Rapid reaction: Bulls 101, Pistons 91

By Nick Friedell

CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Bulls came back to beat the Pistons 101-91 in their home opener on Saturday night.

How it happened: The Bulls looked lethargic for most of the night, but Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah helped turned things on late as the Bulls rallied for their first win of the season. After dominating most of the contest, Detroit appeared to fall asleep in the fourth quarter. The Pistons couldn't make a shot and allowed the United Center crowd to creep back into the game. After scoring 21 points in the first half, Ben Gordon didn't do a thing in the second half and Detroit couldn't respond. Bulls second-year forward James Johnson made a few nice plays down the stretch, but it was Rose who made things happen at the offensive end of the floor, tying a career high with 39 points.

What it means: Make no mistake, the Bulls are still a flawed team. If Rose and Noah don't have huge games, they aren't going to win many without Carlos Boozer. Luol Deng did not play well, shooting just 2-for-10 from the floor. In the short-term, the Bulls are going to be able to beat mediocre teams like Detroit this way. In the long-term, the Bulls are going to get hammered by teams with more talent if they don’t find a second consistent scoring threat to take the pressure off Rose.

What’s next: The Bulls hope to make it two in a row on Monday when Brandon Roy and the Blazers come to town. They still have to find a way to create more contact and get to the line, but coach Tom Thibodeau has to be pleased with the way his team responded in the fourth quarter after such a disappointing last quarter on Wednesday night in Oklahoma City.

Stat of the night: The Bulls outscored the Pistons 34-9 in the fourth quarter.