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Sunday, April 15, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 100, Pistons 94

By Nick Friedell



AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls pulled out a 100-94 overtime win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

How it happened: Derrick Rose saved the day one more time. Rose scored 24 points and made crucial plays down the stretch, including knocking down a 3-pointer that sent the game to overtime. Joakim Noah had his best game in several weeks, scoring 20 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Kyle Korver had another solid performance off the bench scoring 13 points.

What it means: The Bulls went long stretches in this game without playing with much energy. They couldn't score and their defense wasn't crisp at various points, but as has been the case over the past year and a half under Tom Thibodeau -- they still found a way to win. Rose started looking more like the player he was before all the injuries this season. Noah played with the intensity that Thibodeau has been seeking from him, and his 13 offensive rebounds tied an NBA season high. Carlos Boozer knocked down several big shots late in the game. There are lots of good signs to take from this game for Thibodeau. But there are also several red flags ...

The Bulls allowed a bad Pistons team to hang around most of the night and almost steal the game. The bigger issue is that the starters, as a collective group, still look very rusty. This game should become a public service reminder for fans who believe Rose and Co. should sit down the stretch. They need to work together in order to work out all the kinks. They still have time to do so, but they definitely shouldn't sit the rest of the way, even if the Bulls clinch the number one seed in the East. Sunday's game reinforces that everyone still needs the work.

Stat of the night: The Bulls have now won 15 consecutive games against the Pistons.

Bold play of the game: With 6.4 seconds left to play and his team trailing by three points, Rose knocked down a 3-pointer which tied the game and followed that up with contesting Rodney Stuckey's game-winning shot attempt. The Bulls used the momentum Rose gave them to run past the Pistons in overtime.

What's next: The Bulls are right back at it Monday night when they take on the Washington Wizards.