No matter where the Detroit Pistons play the Chicago Bulls, the outcome stays the same.
Detroit has lost to its Central Division rival 13 consecutive times, most recently in a visit to Paris. The Pistons will try to snap that long streak when they host Chicago on Wednesday.
Detroit had the upper hand in the series as recently as the 2018-19 season. The Pistons swept that campaign’s four-game series, giving them seven straight wins against the Bulls.
Chicago completed season series sweeps the past three years. The Bulls also have won the first two matchups this season: 132-118 in Chicago on Dec. 30 and 126-108 in Paris on Jan. 19. Following the Wednesday game, the teams will meet up one more time, in the regular-season finale at Chicago on April 9.
Winning against any team is a demanding task for the Pistons this season. They have lost five straight and sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a 15-47 record.
Detroit was missing four starters in a 117-106 road loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Monday. Leading scorer Bojan Bogdanovic and big men Jalen Duren and Isaiah Stewart sat out with a variety of injuries. Point guard Jaden Ivey missed the game due to personal reasons, and forward Isaiah Livers didn’t play the second half due to a left ankle sprain.
Bogdanovic and Ivey are expected to return to action on Wednesday. Duran and Stewart will sit out again, and Livers was listed as doubtful.
The Hornets shot 51.8 percent from the field and took control from the opening tap, outscoring the Pistons 41-21 in the first quarter.
Detroit shot 11.5 percent (3 of 26) on 3-point attempts.
“We did not have a good shooting night,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “For us to be successful, we’ve got to have a balance between interior scoring and also 3-point shooting, and we did not have that from the outside.”
Detroit center James Wiseman, acquired from the Golden State Warriors at the trade deadline, led the makeshift starting unit with 23 points and added seven rebounds. Reserve Hamidou Diallo also scored 23 points.
Marvin Bagley III had another solid showing off the bench with 21 points and 12 rebounds in his second game since recovering from a fractured hand. He piled up 21 points and 18 rebounds against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday in his return to action.
Chicago will be playing the tail end of a back-to-back set. The Bulls lost 104-98 at Toronto on Tuesday, committing 20 turnovers that led to 21 Raptors points. Toronto also grabbed 19 offensive rebounds while Chicago had six.
“We had an opportunity to have a good offensive night. It’s hard to have a good offensive night when you turn it over (20) times,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “We shot over 50 percent from the field. We shot … 40 percent from three. If you have more possessions, shooting that percentage, your numbers are going to look better. (But) they took 23 more shots than we did — it’s hard to put up points with what we did.”
Nikola Vucevic led the Bulls with 23 points but Zach LaVine was held to 17 points, seven below his season average, and DeMar DeRozan scored just 13 points, 12 shy of his average.
Getting outrebounded 47-35 prevented Chicago from having more chances to score.
“We did get hurt, no question, on the glass,” Donovan said.
–Field Level Media