Zach LaVine’s 51 points not enough for Bulls in 118-102 loss to Pistons

Jalen Duren had 23 points and 15 rebounds as the Detroit Pistons overcame a career-high 51 points from Zach LaVine to beat the Chicago Bulls 118-102 on Saturday night.

LaVine’s effort was the first 50-point game of the NBA season and made him the first Bulls player with 50 points and no assists since Michael Jordan did it against the Miami Heat on Nov. 6, 1996.

Cade Cunningham added 25 points and 10 assists for the Pistons, while Alec Burks added 18 off the bench. Rookie Ausar Thompson had nine points, 12 rebounds and five assists in Detroit’s home opener.

DeMar DeRozan scored 20 for the Bulls, but Nikola Vucevic with 12 was the only other Bull to reach double figures.

Jalen Duren #0 of the Detroit Pistons dunks in the first half while playing the Chicago Bulls at Little Caesars Arena on October 28, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using thi (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images / Getty Images)

LaVine, who shot 19 of 32, scored 20 points in the third quarter, giving him 39 in the game, but Jaden Ivey’s 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Pistons an 84-77 lead.

Cunningham started the fourth with a three-point play and Burks followed with a 3-pointer to make it a 13-point game. LaVine scored 10 points to help the Bulls get within 95-89 with 8:33 to play.

LaVine, though, didn’t get enough offensive help and the Bulls couldn’t put together enough stops. Two free throws by Cunningham made it 109-97 with 2:30 to play, and the Pistons held on for the victory.

The Pistons shot 60.5% from the floor while building a 57-45 lead. LaVine had 19 points in the first quarter, but didn’t score in the second. Detroit had a 25-12 edge in bench points, with Burks and Marvin Bagley III getting nine each.


Bulls: Visit the Indiana Pacers on Monday.

Pistons: Visit the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.