Sport - National
Bulls 102, Pistons 87
Sunday, May 13th 2007, 1:10 PM CDT
CHICAGO (AP) _ The Detroit Pistons wanted a sweep. The Chicago Bulls refused to let them get it.
Luol Deng scored 25 points, Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon added 19 apiece and the Bulls hung on to beat the Pistons 102-87 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday afternoon.
Unlike Game 3, when the Bulls saw a 19-point lead dissolve into a seven-point loss, Chicago withstood a late push by Detroit. The Bulls outscored the Pistons 27-13 in the 3rd quarter to turn a seven-point halftime lead into a 77-56 advantage going into the 4th.
They didn't flinch when Chauncey Billups hit two free throws with 3:55 left to cut it to 87-80, or when he answered Gordon's 3-pointer with one of his own. That made it 90-83 with 2:46 remaining, but the Bulls hung on against a Pistons team that had won 12 of 13 closeout games.
The Bulls still have a long way to go to join the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders and 2004 Boston Red Sox as the only major pro teams to win a best-of-seven series after falling behind 3-0. The Pistons will try to wrap up this one Tuesday at The Palace of Auburn Hills, where they blew out Chicago in Games 1 and 2 after sweeping Orlando in the first round.
Deng was 10-of-15 after shooting 38 percent in the first three games and grabbed 13 rebounds. Hinrich added 10 assists, although he committed five turnovers. Ben Wallace delivered a vintage performance against his former team, grabbing 17 rebounds, and the Bulls held a 51-33 edge on the glass.
Wallace also scored 11 points and blocked two shots, while Tyrus Thomas provided a boost in the 4th quarter, scoring eight of his 10 points.
Billups led Detroit with 23 points. Tayshaun Prince added 18, but Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Chris Webber all had rough afternoons. Hamilton (11 points) was just 4-for-12. Wallace was just 4-for-16 and scored 14. Webber did not score.