Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/7

Game 1: Friday, December 7th
Game 2: Wednesday, January 23rd
Game 3: Sunday, March 31st
Game 4: Sunday, April 7th

Bulls 108

(10-8, 5-3 away)

Pistons 104

(6-15, 5-5 home)

    7:30 PM ET, December 7, 2012

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHI 26 24 28 30108
    DET 30 25 19 30104

    Top Performers

    Chi: J. Noah 30 Pts, 23 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Det: R. Stuckey 24 Pts, 1 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Joakim Noah's career night helps Bulls defeat Pistons

    Associated Press

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Joakim Noah was standing near the scorer's table during the first half, visibly upset with his team's performance while he was waiting to check back in.

    The Detroit Pistons were outworking his Chicago Bulls -- but Noah's big night was only beginning.

    "I just felt like our energy was just low, from the start of the game," Noah said. "It's just human reaction, when there's not a lot of people in the stands, to kind of put your guard down. I think we regrouped pretty well."

    Noah had 30 points and 23 rebounds, setting career highs in both categories and helping the Bulls beat Detroit for the 16th straight time, 108-104 on Friday night.

    "It's crazy to have numbers like that," Noah said. "I knew I was missing a lot of tips in the beginning of the game. In some arenas, they count as rebounds, and some other arenas, they don't. I'm happy they counted."

    Chicago trailed by as many as 17 points in the second quarter, but the Bulls rallied toward the end of the half and took control in the fourth.

    All five Chicago starters finished in double figures, including Carlos Boozer with 24 points. Luol Deng and Marco Belinelli scored 16 apiece.

    Rodney Stuckey led Detroit with 24 points and Brandon Knight added 21. The Pistons had 28 rebounds on the night, only five more than Noah had by himself.

    "Noah had a double-double in both halves. That's just flat-out effort," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "He had 30 points and 23 rebounds, and they didn't run a single play for him."

    Noah's previous career highs were 26 points and 21 rebounds. He said he was motivated by the presence of Ben Wallace, the former Piston who also played for the Bulls when Noah was a rookie.

    Wallace was sitting behind one of the baskets Friday night and got a nice hand from the crowd, which was announced at 17,142 but included a significant number of empty seats.

    "That's my vet," Noah said. "To have him there, it means a lot. I've learned a lot from him."

    The game was tied at 82 in the fourth quarter when Noah rebounded a Chicago miss and made a layup while being fouled. The Pistons were able to hang around after the three-point play, but after they let Noah come up with another offensive rebound that led to a dunk by Boozer, the Bulls were ahead 100-93.

    Deng's 3-pointer pushed the lead to 10, and although Detroit cut into the margin during a sloppy final minute, the outcome was never really in doubt.

    Noah had 10 offensive rebounds, twice as many as the entire Detroit team. He and Boozer both shot 12 of 19, giving the Bulls enough scoring on a night their defense wasn't all that impressive.

    Chicago has been without star point guard Derrick Rose all season after he underwent reconstructive surgery on his left knee. Richard Hamilton has also been out lately with a left foot problem.

    Detroit hasn't beaten Chicago since Dec. 23, 2008, but for most of the first half, the Pistons looked primed to end that streak. They led by as many as 17 in the second quarter, shooting 54 percent for the half.

    "The second quarter was an abomination," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We gave them pick-and-rolls, we gave them cuts, we were ball watching, lacked awareness."

    But Chicago went on a 12-0 run late in the second quarter and trailed 55-50 at the half. The Bulls took a 71-70 lead on a 3-pointer by Kirk Hinrich. Chicago was ahead 78-74 after three.

    "It's even more frustrating, because in this streak, they've been holding us around 80 points, with a few games in the 70s. We got 104 tonight, and we still didn't beat them," Detroit's Tayshaun Prince said.

    "Our offense was doing great things, but we let down on defense, and when we did get a miss, Noah kept the ball alive. We had 28 rebounds and he had 23, so you can see how well that went."

    Game notes

    Noah also had six assists. ... Detroit's Greg Monroe had 13 points and five rebounds, barely extending his streak of games with at least five rebounds to 112.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Research Notes

    Joakim Noah scored 30 points, grabbed 23 rebounds and dished out 6 assists Friday night against the Pistons. Only 3 other players have done that in the last 25 seasons.
    From Elias: Joakim Noah (30 points, 23 rebounds and six assists) is just the third player in Bulls history to with at least 30 points, 20 rebounds and five assists in a single game.
    Joakim Noah is the 1st Bulls player to record at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game since Luol Deng recorded 24 points and 20 rebounds against the Bucks on November 3rd, 2009.

    ESPN Stats & Information