- The Washington Times - Monday, April 13, 2009

AUBURN HILLS, MICH. (AP) - Ben Gordon made a tiebreaking layup with 15 seconds left, and the Chicago Bulls beat Detroit 91-88 on Monday night to lock the Pistons in the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The loss means the Pistons (39-42) will face Cleveland in the first round of the playoffs. Chicago (41-40) leads Philadelphia by a half-game for sixth.

Derrick Rose scored 11 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and added a key defensive play as the Bulls overcame a double-digit deficit in the second half. Gordon added 19.

Richard Hamilton led the Pistons with 25 points and Tayshaun Prince added 19.

It appeared the Bulls might get a chance to pull within 84-82 with 5:58 left, but the officials called an offensive foul on Brad Miller and waved off his basket instead of giving him a chance at a three-point play.

Miller was called for a technical for arguing the call, and Hamilton’s free throw put Detroit ahead 85-79.

The Bulls were as close as 88-85 when Miller picked up a second technical for arguing a traveling call. Hamilton, though, missed the free throw and then turned the ball over with two minutes left.

After both teams missed, Rose got out on the fast break and hit a layup as Rasheed Wallace fouled him. After he sank the tying free throw, he blocked Rodney Stuckey’s shot to give the Bulls the ball with 31 seconds left.

Gordon then put Chicago ahead with a driving layup, and Wallace missed a go-ahead 3-pointer. Rose could only split a pair of free throws, but Detroit was out of timeouts and Stuckey’s last-second shot from 60 feet hit the shot clock.

Detroit broke open a tie game with an 8-0 run late in the second quarter, and still held a 56-48 advantage at the intermission. Hamilton had 19 for Detroit, while Prince added 14 on 5-for-5 shooting.

Prince started the third with a 3-pointer, but the Bulls held the Pistons to 29 percent shooting in the period and were within 75-69 going into the final period.

Notes:@ Prince extended his consecutive games streak to six years and 493 games on Monday. He last missed a regular-season game on April 13, 2003 _ his rookie season _ in Memphis. … Tyrus Thomas picked up a flagrant foul for knocking down Hamilton while frustrated about not getting a call seconds earlier on offense.

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