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NBA: DeMar DeRozan, Bulls pound Pistons, seal No. 9 in East

NBA: DeMar DeRozan, Bulls pound Pistons, seal No. 9 in East

DeMar DeRozan poured in 39 points as the visiting Chicago Bulls pounded the Detroit Pistons 127-105 on Thursday.

DeRozan made 14 of his 22 field-goal attempts, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range, and sank all but one of his eight free-throw tries for the Bulls (38-42). Chicago locked up the No. 9 seed in the Eastern Conference with two games remaining and will host No. 10 seed Atlanta in the play-in tournament next week.

DeRozan also contributed seven assists, four rebounds and three steals. Chicago's Nikola Vucevic supplied 27 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, and Coby White had 18 points and five assists. Dalen Terry added 12 points and Javonte Green chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds.

Jalen Duren amassed 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons (13-67), who have lost six straight. Marcus Sasser also scored 20 points, Jaden Ivey added 16 points and six assists, Chimezie Metu finished with 15 points and Malachi Flynn had 12.

Pistons star Cade Cunningham sat out for the fifth consecutive game due to a left knee injury.

DeRozan and Vucevic had 17 points apiece as the Bulls led 64-55 at halftime. Chicago outscored Detroit 34-16 in the paint prior to the break. Turnovers were also a factor, as the Pistons committed 12, twice as many as their counterparts. Sasser posted 13 first-half points.

Green made two layups in the first minute of the second half to give the Bulls a 13-point lead. The advantage fluctuated between 10 and 13 points until DeRozan drained a 3-pointer with 5:24 left in the quarter, providing Chicago with an 83-68 advantage.

DeRozan knocked down four free throws in a 30-second span to make it 87-70. He then splashed another 3-pointer for a 20-point edge.

Chicago finished the quarter with a 7-2 spurt for a 99-80 lead. DeRozan scored on a pullup jumper and hit two more free throws during that span, giving him 35 points entering the final quarter.

A Duren layup midway through the fourth quarter cut Detroit's deficit to 19. DeRozan then dropped in a couple of midrange jumpers to finish off his big scoring night. — Field Level Media/Reuters