As a whole, the Bulls' victory over the hapless Detroit Pistons on Monday night might have been less interesting than the college football championship.
The Pistons hung around for a while but faded late while the Bulls rolled to a 92-68 victory at the United Center. It was Bulls' 13th straight win in the series, while Detroit lost its fourth game in a row by at least 16 points.
Broken into pieces, the latest Bulls victory had its moments.
Carlos Boozer (23 points, 8 rebounds) and Ronnie Brewer (12 points) were on target from long range, while Derrick Rose (22 points, 8 assists) produced another efficient performance.
Through 10 games Rose is on pace to post the second-best assist average in franchise history. His 8.4 assists per game are second only to Guy Rodgers' 11.2 average during the Bulls' inaugural season of 1966-67.
"He's turning into one heck of a point guard," Boozer said. "Last year he would take on the double and triple team and he would score most of the time, to be quite frank about it.
"This year he's doing a great job of trusting us. He'll see a double-team and he'll pass the ball to the right person and let them make a play."
Rose was looking for Boozer and Brewer early in the game. That pair hit 5 long jumpers as the Bulls (8-2) started the contest 7-for-7 from the field.
It was a relief for Brewer, who had cooled off after starting the season shooting lights-out from long range.
"The last couple games, I haven't been catching and shooting with confidence," said Brewer, who started in place of the injured Richard Hamilton for the fifth time in six games.
"I've been hesitating, thinking about the shot. Tonight, when I had open opportunities, I was just shooting with confidence."
Boozer, meanwhile, settled for a steady diet of jump shots. He finished 9-for-13 from the field, so there was really no need to attack the basket more often.
"You just play. Whatever's open is there," he said. "I'm very confident in my jump shot, work on it every day. The jump shot was there, so I just kept shooting it."
Luol Deng (2-for-12, 4 points) and Joakim Noah (4 points, 8 rebounds) had quiet nights, but the Bulls' reserves increased the lead both times they were on the floor.
Detroit (2-7) was within 64-59 with a minute left in the third quarter. The Bulls responded with 11 straight points and never looked back. They outscored the Pistons 24-9 in the fourth quarter.
The final act was an appearance by fan favorite Brian Scalabrine. Love it or hate it, the fans cheered loudly when Scalabrine jumped off the bench with 2:43 remaining and flat-out exploded when he canned a 12-foot jumper with 14.6 seconds remaining.
"You have some superstars who don't get love like that," Brewer said. "He gets it at home and on the road. To me, he handles it really well."
The Bulls continue their stretch of three straight games Tuesday night in Minnesota.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.