Kennard, Moreland have career nights as Pistons rout Bulls
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 12, 2018 10:27 AM
Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik (3) reaches for the rebound from Detroit Pistons forward Henry Ellenson (8), forward Eric Moreland (24) and forward James Ennis III (33) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Wednesday, April 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Jeff Haynes)
By Matt Schoch, Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Rookie Luke Kennard scored a career-high 23 points and Eric Moreland set career bests with 16 points and 17 rebounds as the Detroit Pistons closed the season with a 119-87 rout of the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).
Anthony Tolliver had 18 points and Henry Ellenson added 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Pistons snapped a two-game losing streak and won for the ninth time in their last 13 games.
Rookie Lauri Markkanen had 20 points, and Sean Kilpatrick added 14 in his only start of the season for Chicago.
The rebuilding Bulls maintained their seventh position heading into the draft lottery on May 15 (May 16, PHL time), losing their fourth straight. It was also Chicago's 11th loss in 14 games.
Tolliver made his first five shots and also keyed an early 22-4 run as Detroit took a 35-21 lead after one quarter.
The Pistons shot 26-of-45 (57.8 percent), including 10-of-19 (52.6 percent) on three-pointers, to take a 66-50 halftime lead.
The Bulls had a 13-5 run early in the third quarter and got the margin down to 71-63 after six straight points from Markkanen. But Ish Smith had six points during an 11-0 run that re-established a 20-point margin for Detroit, which led by as many as 34 in the fourth quarter.
The final margin of victory was the second-largest of the season for Detroit, behind a 114-80 win on Jan. 10 (Jan. 11, PHL time) against Brooklyn.
Pistons: Starters Reggie Bullock (left knee swelling), Andre Drummond (sore Achilles tendon) and Blake Griffin (right ankle contusion) were again held out with minor injuries. ... The Pistons (39-43) finished under .500 for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons.
Bulls: Justin Holiday and Robin Lopez were held out by the Bulls, and injured Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Antonio Blakeney, Denzel Valentine, Paul Zipser and Noah Vonleh were on the inactive list. ... The Bulls (27-55) finished under .500 for the first time since 2007-08.
Detroit evened the all-time series with Chicago at 129-129.
Kay Felder had his first basket for Detroit with a late jump shot, scoring two points.
The Detroit native and former star at nearby Oakland University played three minutes in one previous game this season after being acquired as a two-way player on Jan. 15 (Jan. 16, PHL time).
Markkanen hit three three-pointers, setting a record with 145 three-pointers made as a rookie, breaking Kirk Hinrich's franchise mark of 144 set in 2003-04.
The 20-year-old from Finland recently became the fourth Bulls rookie with 1,000 points and 500 rebounds, joining Elton Brand, Michael Jordan and Dave Greenwood.
"The Bulls won 72 [in 1995-96], how many games did [Michael] Jordan play? He played 82, all six years. It wasn't, 'We're five games up, so we need a rest.' And he seemed to have something left in the playoffs to me," Van Gundy said, while holding court for more than 10 minutes in a pregame media session about NBA teams tanking and resting players down the stretch.
On tanking: "To me, it's a lack of integrity in your league and a lack of respect for your fans," Van Gundy said.
Owner Tom Gores said Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) he expects to meet with Van Gundy next week about the future of the franchise.