Friday, April 11, 2014
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Preview: Pistons At Bulls

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[April 11, 2014]  The Chicago Bulls likely won't be disappointed to see the visiting Detroit Pistons come to town Friday. The Bulls, who are trying to edge Toronto for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, have sent the Pistons home with a loss in 14 of their last 15 visits to the United Center. Chicago has won a season-best six straight the last five by double digits.

The Pistons' road woes haven't been limited to their trips to Chicago they've lost 17 of 19 away from home overall. Detroit snapped a 14-game road losing against the Bulls with a 92-75 win Dec. 7, but the Bulls have transformed themselves into an Eastern Conference contender since then. Center Joakim Noah has emerged as the team's clear leader, and reserve guard D.J. Augustin has added a much-needed spark off the bench.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, WGN (Chicago)

ABOUT THE PISTONS (29-50): Detroit has had plenty of chances to play spoiler of late but hasn't always taken advantage it beat playoff-hopeful Atlanta on Tuesday before getting blasted 122-100 at Cleveland on Wednesday. "You see how the NBA is," rookie guard Peyton Siva told reporters. "One night you can feel on top of the world, next night you can feel at the bottom." The key to maintaining the former usually goes through the post for the Pistons, who need solid production from big men Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond to be successful.

ABOUT THE BULLS (46-32): Noah continues his MVP-like performance at both ends of the floor and is coming off his fourth triple-double of the season in Wednesday's 102-87 win at Minnesota. "The best thing about him is the winning part of it," coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters. "He doesn't care about his own statistics. He only cares about winning. When your best players are like that it sets a great tone for the team." That team-first attitude has really taken hold in the second half of the season, and the Bulls are an Eastern Conference-best 34-14 since Jan. 1.

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BUZZER-BEATERS

  1. Noah (398 assists, 114 blocks) is on the cusp of becoming the ninth player in NBA history with 400 assists and 100 blocks in the same season.

  2. Pistons SF Josh Smith has missed two straight games with patellar tendinitis in his left knee and is likely to sit out again.

  3. The Bulls are 40-4 when leading after three quarters.

PREDICTION: Bulls 101, Pistons 92

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