CHICAGO -- On his back in front of the visitors bench, Ben Gordon didn't see his big shot fall through the net. Instead, he glanced at the scoreboard.
"I did see the three [points] go up," he said.
Gordon then buried the free throw to complete the go-ahead four-point play, Derrick Rose and Tyrus Thomas made strong contributions late, and the Chicago Bulls rallied to beat the Detroit Pistons 107-102 on Tuesday night.
Playing their first home game since Jan. 23, the Bulls trailed 100-90 with about 3½ minutes left. But with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen watching, they showed some of their old mettle and finished on a 17-2 run.
The Pistons were without Allen Iverson, who had the flu. Even so, they appeared to be in good shape.
Then, the Bulls scored nine straight to make it a one-point game before Rasheed Wallace buried two free throws with a minute left, making it 102-99. But Chicago scored the final eight points.
Rose drove for a layup to pull the Bulls back within one with 46 seconds left. After Wallace forced a wild corner jumper, the Bulls grabbed the lead. Wallace then blocked a drive by Rose, but he got the rebound and found Gordon (24 points), who buried the go-ahead 3-pointer as Rodney Stuckey fouled him.
Both players got knocked to the court. While Gordon popped up and buried the free throw to make it 105-102 with 16.7 seconds left, Stuckey left the game.
"He's not going to miss the open shot," Rose said.
The Pistons' Richard Hamilton then drove along the right side and tried to dish off to Antonio McDyess underneath, but he couldn't handle the pass, resulting in a turnover. Andres Nocioni then hit two free throws for Chicago with 9.9 seconds left for the final score, and Joakim Noah then stole Arron Afflalo's pass.
The Pistons simply walked away confused and disappointed.
"I couldn't explain this if I tried," said Tayshaun Prince, who scored 16 points.
Hamilton, who scored 30, was at a loss to decipher this one, too.
"It's really hard to point out right now because it hurts so much," he said.
Rose, who finished with 23 points, scored nine in the final 4 minutes and started that 9-0 run with two free throws. He took a shoulder to the face from McDyess, who was trying to set a pick, on the inbounds after Gordon's four-point play and appeared to be in tears. But Rose shook it off.
"I'm good, I'm good," he said. "Just a minor headache."
Thomas, who finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds, added a put-back basket and blocked a layup by Stuckey during that spurt. And Nocioni added 14 points for the Bulls, who pulled out the dramatic win after a 4-3 trip.
The Pistons took an 85-71 lead into the fourth quarter after Wallace scored 15 of his 20 points in the third. Even so, they suffered their 12th loss in 18 games despite that burst and another big effort from Hamilton.
Switched to a reserve role last month after returning from a groin injury, Hamilton said he still feels some pain. It's tough to tell, given how he's played lately. He set a team record for a reserve by scoring 38 points against Milwaukee on Saturday and followed that with 27 against Phoenix on Sunday. Against the Bulls, he had 17 in the first half, carrying the Pistons to a 51-50 lead.
The Bulls unveiled a statue of Johnny Kerr holding a microphone that will be displayed in the concourse during an emotional ceremony that included a video tribute, taped messages from President Obama and commissioner David Stern, and speeches by Pippen and Jordan. Pippen said Kerr "makes Chicago Bulls basketball what it is," while Jordan called him "an inspiration to me as a basketball player and as a person." A Chicago native who coached the Bulls to the playoffs in their inaugural 1966-67 season and has spent more than 30 years calling their games, Kerr also received a photo collage from Bulls GM John Paxson and the Basketball Hall of Fame's John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award from Jerry Colangelo. "I want to thank everybody here in the audience who has seen the Bulls play not because of Red Kerr but because of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and all the other people in the organization," said a choked up Kerr, who is battling prostate cancer. ... Bulls C Drew Gooden, sidelined since Jan. 19 by a strained left groin, said he will not return before the All-Star break. He also said he might have a sports hernia that would require surgery.
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