AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – D.J. Augustin scored 26 points off the bench and Joakim Noah had a triple-double as the Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons, 105-94, on Wednesday night.
Noah finished with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his sixth career triple-double, including two in the last three games and three in the last month. Taj Gibson added 22 points off the bench, while Jimmy Butler had 18 points and 12 rebounds in the Bulls’ fifth win in six games.
Greg Monroe led Detroit with 27 points, but the Pistons got only 12 points from their reserves on 5-of-20 shooting.
Detroit led for most of the second quarter, but appeared to get rattled by an official’s decision. Smith was driving for a layup that would have made it 43-34, but the shot was blocked by Mike Dunleavy. Smith didn’t get back on defense, staying near the basket to argue the call, and Jimmy Butler got an easy alley-oop dunk at the other end.
Smith was then called for a technical, and Augustin hit the free throw to make it a four-point game.
The Bulls scored the next four points to tie the game, and a technical called on Pistons coach John Loyer with 3.7 seconds left in the half helped the Bulls take a 52-47 lead at the intermission. The biggest difference in the half, other than the technicals, was Detroit’s struggles from outside.
The Pistons hit just 26.7 percent (4 for 15) of their shots outside the paint, including missing five of six 3-pointers.
The Pistons narrowed the gap to 71-70 in the third quarter, but Augustin and Gibson kept scoring off the bench to help the Bulls stay in front. Augustin’s three-point play early in the fourth keyed an 11-2 run to start the period, putting the Bulls up by 10.
Augustin wasn’t finished, either. His 3-pointer gave the Bulls a 15-point lead with six minutes to go, and the Pistons never threatened down the stretch.
NOTES: Loyer’s technical at the end of the first was called in a highly unusual manner. Loyer was discussing a call with official Olandis Poole, who showed no indication of calling anything, but John Goble rang him up from 30 feet away. ... Gibson and Brandon Jennings picked up technicals arguing calls in the second half. Gibson left the game with 3:39 to play after rolling his right ankle, but returned moments later. ... IndyCar champion Scott Dixon was honored during the first half as part of a promotion for the Detroit Grand Prix.