DETROIT (AP) — Zach LaVine scored 15 of his 34 points in the third quarter, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 94-88 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night in the opener for both teams.
Detroit’s Jerami Grant was off on an 11-foot baseline jumper with 50 seconds left, missing a chance to tie it. The Bulls sealed the victory by making free throws.
The Pistons were without rookie guard Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 overall pick, whose NBA debut was delayed by a sprained right ankle.
DeMar DeRozan had 17 points, and Lonzo Ball had 12 points in their Bulls debut. Nikola Vucevic had 10 points and 11 rebounds at halftime and finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds
Grant led the Pistons with 24 points. Detroit’s Saddiq Bey scored 13 points, Isaiah Stewart added 12 points and reserve Kelly Olynyk scored 10 points in his debut with the team.
Detroit missed 7 of 8 shots to open the game and Chicago failed to connect on 10 of its first 13 shots. By the end of the dismal first quarter, the Pistons led 20-14 as both teams failed to make more than 30% of their shots.
The Pistons led by as much as nine in the second quarter, but Bulls rallied to trail 44-40 at halftime. After the Pistons went ahead by nine points again in the third quarter, the LaVine-led Chicago pulled into a 69-all tie at the end of the quarter.
Bulls: Vucevic was called for a technical foul late in the first period. ... Coby White (left shoulder) was out. ... Chicago swept the season series against Detroit last season.
Pistons: Faces in the crowd at Detroit’s home opener included Hall of Famers Isiah Thomas, Dave Bing and Ben Wallace along with 2004 NBA champion Rip Hamilton and rappers Big Sean and Kash Doll. ... Isaiah Livers (right foot) and Chris Smith (left knee ) were out.
Bulls: Hosts New Orleans on Friday night.
Pistons: At at Chicago on Saturday night.