Dinwiddie sparks Pistons against Bulls
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Spencer Dinwiddie found himself matched up against Derrick Rose in his first NBA start. What seemed like a mismatch on paper turned out to be an advantage for the Detroit Pistons rookie.
Playing like a seasoned veteran, Dinwiddie had 12 points, nine assists and three steals while limiting Rose to eight points as the depleted Pistons surprised the Central Division-leading Chicago Bulls 100-91 on Friday night at The Palace.
“He looked in control handling the ball and he did about as good a job as you can do playing Derrick Rose,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “He was poised the whole time and didn’t turn it over at all in the second half. You couldn’t ask for much more.”
Dinwiddie was nearly asked to head down to the NBA Development League before Van Gundy traded starting point guard D.J. Augustin to Oklahoma City on Thursday. Dinwiddie showed much-improved energy and focus in practices after returning from the All-Star break and got a temporary chance to show what he can do.
The Pistons (22-33) had only 10 players available after dealing four before the deadline. They acquired Reggie Jackson from the Thunder to take over the starting role, but Dinwiddie might have earned more playing time with his performance.
“He played a very composed game,” said Detroit power forward Greg Monroe, who had 20 points. “He didn’t seem to get rattled and he played at his pace. He was definitely a big part of our win tonight.”
Rose, who was held to single digits for the first time since Jan. 7, was 2 of 9 from the field and had six turnovers and only two assists.
“I had more butterflies about the start than about him,” Dinwiddie said. “I have a ton of respect for him because he came back from an ACL (tear), too. I’ve just come back from that and he’s one of the best guards in the world.”
Rose said the layoff hurt his rhythm.
“They were aggressive throughout the whole game,” he said. “I just couldn’t find my game tonight. Thank God we’ve got another one (Saturday) because this one hurts.”
Detroit small forward Caron Butler also had 20 points and center Andre Drummond dominated inside with 18 points and 20 rebounds. Drummond had five putback attempts in a five-second span before finally scoring early in the second quarter.
“That was a great play,” Van Gundy said. “You’d like him to put the first one in, but to stay with it like that and make the effort, that’s what we’re looking for from him.”
Shooting guard Jimmy Butler’s 30 points led the Bulls (34-21), who had four-game winning streak snapped. Power forward Taj Gibson supplied 15 points and nine rebounds off the bench. Center Joakim Noah added 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Bulls power forward Pau Gasol, who had 12 points and eight rebounds, saw his consecutive double-doubles snapped at 14. It was the longest such streak by a Bulls player since Michael Jordan had 15 straight during the 1988-89 season.
The Bulls were held to 35.9 shooting from the field in the second half while committing 14 turnovers.
“I thought we played decently in the first half. Second half, we had a lot of turnovers,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “They played at a high intensity level. If you let your guard down, you’re going to get beat.”
Down by six early in the third quarter, the Pistons suddenly erupted for a 20-3 run. Butler and Monroe sparked it, with Butler firing in three jumpers and Monroe making three layups. The last of those layups made it 71-60. Monroe added a bank shot in the final minute of the quarter as Detroit took a 77-68 lead into the fourth.
Chicago pulled within three on two occasions in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get any closer.
NOTES: PG Reggie Jackson, acquired by Detroit from Oklahoma City on Thursday, will start against Washington on Sunday in his Pistons debut. “We’re in the process of building,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We just want to accelerate that process with him.” ... Longtime Pistons SF Tayshaun Prince, who was reacquired from Boston on Thursday, is also expected to play Sunday. He will share time at his usual position with another veteran, Caron Butler. ... Chicago had everyone on its roster available to play for just the second time this season. ... The Bulls won 22 of the last 24 meetings. ... Chicago SG Jimmy Butler has improved his scoring average by a league-best 7.3 points per game (20.4 from 13.1) and Detroit SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is third on the list with a 6.0 ppg increase (11.9 from 5.9). ... The Bulls play their next seven games at home.