Bulls loss nothing to laugh at

Tribune staff reporter

At least Rasheed Wallace didn't laugh this time, at least not in the Bulls' faces.

Wallace and the Detroit Pistons methodically ripped apart the Bulls 110-82 on Friday night in front of a sellout crowd of 22,076.

The last time the Pistons defeated the Bulls, on Dec. 3 at the United Center, Wallace chuckled as the Pistons reeled off a 13-point rout. This time they handed the Bulls their worst defeat of the season, a 28-point pasting.

"We should feel embarrassed," Bulls guard Chris Duhon said.

By the fourth quarter, the Pistons' lead had swelled to 27 points, and soon Wallace no longer was needed to pummel the Bulls. He departed with 19 points to lead six Pistons in double figures, and he pulled down 10 rebounds.

The nightmarish game for the Bulls served as a painful reminder that they lack an experienced post player and, in general, the wherewithal to compete with the best team in the Eastern Conference.

"From the moment the ball went up, they dominated us all over the floor," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "We got exactly what we deserved."

Frustration reached a peak for the Bulls in the fourth quarter when Othella Harrington, a captain who usually is calm and collected, lost his cool in a tussle with Darko Milicic and was ejected.

"I don't even want to talk about it," Harrington said. "I overreacted."

Kirk Hinrich only played three minutes in the second half, and the other starters also saw little time in the last 24 minutes. Overall, Luol Deng and Duhon had minimal success. Duhonh scored 13 points and Deng added 11. Hinrich scored four.

"They didn't play very well," Skiles said of his starters. "They were struggling. Other than Chris [and Deng], I was looking for other guys to bring us back. It didn't work."

The Bulls play host to the Boston Celtics on Saturday night, and they want to snap a four-game losing streak at the United Center. At this point, they seem ill-prepared to do it.

"It's not about the loss," Skiles said. "It's about the way it went down. It's distressing."

At halftime, the Pistons, up 52-39, paid tribune to Bill Davidson, the team's majority owner since 1974, and raised a banner in his honor. Then they went back to business—whipping the Bulls.

Most of the current Bulls (11-11) were around last season when the team beat the Pistons twice here, but that experience helped little on Friday.

At 17-3, the Pistons own their best 20-game record in franchise history.

"They're really on a roll," Skiles said. "They're a difficult team for anyone to play. You have to try to make them play a little faster than they want, try to get them a little out of control, try to frustrate them. Those are tough things to do.

"They really have a lot of poise this year."

And the Bulls couldn't do anything about it.


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