The Detroit Pistons’ home opener against the Chicago Bulls most likely won’t be an easy assignment.
Chicago has defeated the Pistons 15 consecutive times, including a sweep of the last four season series. The Pistons will look to snap that streak against their Central Division rival on Saturday night.
Detroit has split its first two games this season. After a furious rally in Miami that fell one point short, the Pistons defeated Charlotte on Friday, 111-99.
The Pistons got a big lift from their bench, Alec Burks had a team-high 24 points, Jaden Ivey contributed 18 and Marvin Bagley III tossed in 14. That allowed Detroit to overcome turnovers, as well as foul trouble to star player Cade Cunningham.
Detroit committed 24 turnovers, leading to 26 Hornets points. Cunningham was limited to 12 points before fouling out.
Rookie forward Ausar Thompson scored only six points but was a factor on both ends of the floor with 12 rebounds and six assists.
Second-year center Jalen Duren had a solid outing with 14 points, 17 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal.
Williams recorded his first victory as the Pistons’ head coach.
The Bulls are also 1-1 and playing the second game of a back-to-back. They’re coming off a wild 104-103 overtime victory over Toronto.
Chicago rallied from a 17-point deficit in the final five minutes of regulation to force the extra session. Alex Caruso’s 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds remaining in overtime was the game-winning shot.
DeMar DeRozan led the offense with 33 points but missed three free throws in the final 12.1 seconds of regulation.
Caruso’s 3-point make was a rarity for the Bulls. They knocked down just eight of 39 attempts against the Raptors.
Zach LaVine will be looking to regain his shooting stroke. He’s made just seven of his 30 field-goal attempts during the first two games, including a 2-for-15 performance on 3-point tries.