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>>caption: DETROIT'S TAYSHAUN PRINCE
(#22) GOES AROUND KURT THOMAS (#40)
OF THE BULLS IN OVERTIME<<
@ PALACE OF AUBURN HILLS:
Carlos Boozer scored a game-high
31-P including the decisive overtime
basket to help lead the Chicago Bulls
past the Pistons 95-92 Sunday evening.
Boozer played tough at both ends
of the court, in spite of foul trouble,
and took the game away from the Pistons.
Detroit had made an 11-2/4th-Qtr closing
run to deadlock the game at 85 and force
the extra period.
Even though the Pistons had been idle
since Wednesday and the Bulls had lost a Christmas Day game to the New York Knicks
at Madison Square Garden, Chicago had enough at the end to tough it out.
The Pistons scored the final 7-P of regulation. Tracy McGrady popped a 27-foot
triple for the last three of his 15/4th-Qtr points, all the points T-Mac got in the game,
with 1:11 remaining. Tayshaun Prince put-back his own turnaround jumper miss to get
Detroit within 85-83 with 40.9-sec left. Prince then grabbed a rebound with 18.4-sec
Detroit missed three late shots but got rebounds off each and on the third Charlie
Villanueva got a tap-in with 0.6-sec on the clock for the 85-85 tie. After a Bulls timeout
Boozer's desperation catch & shoot try was blocked by Detroit's Jason Maxiell.
Prince put the Pistons ahead 87-85 with a jumper 23-sec into the OT and Boozer
countered with a fadeaway-J 21-sec later to re-tie at 87. Maxiell made the first and
missed the second of his free throws to give Detroit its last lead at 88-87 with 3:20
left in the overtime.
A crisp Boozer pass to Ronnie Brewer was good for an underneath layup and an 89-88
Bulls advantage with 3:00 on the OT clock. A Kurt Thomas tip-in made it 91-88 with 1:33
to play. Prince stole a Boozer pass to feed Rodney Stuckey on a breakaway layup to get
Detroit back to a point down with 1:02 to go. Boozer responded with a power layup over
Prince for a 93-90 margin with 40.8-sec left. Boozer, playing with five fouls, knocked
Prince to the floor on his basket, but no call was made either way. Villanueva made a
runner to again get the Pistons within one at 93-92 with 35.9-sec remaining.
Each team missed a shot in the closing seconds and Detroit was forced to foul
Kyle Korver, Chicago's leading free throw shooter, with only 3.9-sec left. Korver made
both free throws for the 95-92 final margin. Off a Detroit timeout and a front court
in-bounds pass from Prince, Villanueva missed a long, straight-on triple try to tie just
before the buzzer.
Boozer complimented his 31-P with 11-RB. Derrick Rose added 23-P with a game-high
12-RB (to match his career-high) plus a game-high 8-A for Chicago. Luol Deng added 10-P.
Prince topped a balanced Detroit scoring attack with 17-P and Stuckey had 16.
McGrady & Rip Hamilton each scored 15-P. Villanueva had 12-P and a team-high 10-RB.
Chicago is now 19-10 and the Pistons 10-20.
Detroit had a modest two game win streak stopped and had won three of their
PISTONS H-COACH JOHN KUESTER: "We made big shots getting back into the game...
We just kept playing, that was the encouraging thing...I had confidence in [McGrady
& Hamilton], obviously, because I kept playing them. They were getting things done,
o I stayed with them and put Tayshaun at the four."
PISTONS FWD CHARLIE VILLANUEVA: "The [final OT] play was designed for T-Mac,
but they defended it pretty well. We really didn't have a second option, but I went
to the open spot. I thought I had a clean look, but I just missed the shot."
BULLS FWD CARLOS BOOZER: "This was ugly, but sometimes in this league, you've got
to win ugly. We played a tough game, they played a tough game, and we got the win.
We earned this one."
BULLS H-COACH TOM THIBODEAU: "Derrick [Rose] helped up with his rebounding, his
defense, his playmaking -- everything. When they were doubling Carlos in the post,
we spread the floor and Derrick did some things...When they went small, they gave us
a lot of matchup problems. McGrady's healthy again, and when he's out there, he puts
a lot of pressure on you. That's why this is a very good win for us."
Four of Detroit's five overtime games this season have been in Sunday home games.
Chicago grabbed the first 13 offensive rebounds of the game until Piston rookie
Greg Monroe broke that string midway through the 2nd-Qtr.
Boozer, idled by injury until his season debut on DEC 1ST, has scored 34 (his season-high
at Toronto DEC 15TH), 30 & 31-P in his last six games.
The Pistons make a one game road trip to Charlotte Monday night.
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