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Boozer Unloads 31 Points On Pistons In OT Victory

Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) – Carlos Boozer powered his way for 31 points and 11 rebounds, and the Bulls beat Detroit for the ninth straight time, 95-92, in overtime at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Derrick Rose tallied 23 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for Chicago, which won for the third time in four contests. The Bulls, who held a decisive 55-39 rebounding advantage, bounced back from a 103-95 Christmas Day loss to the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Tayshaun Prince had 17 points to lead a balanced attack for Detroit, which won its previous two games. Rodney Stuckey finished with 16 points, while Tracy McGrady and Richard Hamilton each had 15. Charlie Villanueva ended with 12 points and 10 boards, but his potential tying three-pointer was off the mark at the conclusion of overtime.

A pair of Rose free throws boosted the Bulls to a seemingly comfortable 85-78 lead with 1:16 left in regulation, but McGrady hit a three, and after Rose dribbled the ball off his leg and out of bounds, the Pistons got closer. Prince followed his own miss with a bucket with 40.9 seconds remaining.

A missed shot from Rose set the Pistons up for the tie. McGrady missed a jumper and Hamilton was off the mark on two shots from the left baseline, but Villanueva was on the other side of the rim for the tip-in with 0.6 seconds to go.

A layup from Ronnie Brewer gave Chicago the lead for good in OT at 89-88, but the Pistons nearly stole away the win. Boozer’s lefty bank shot in the lane made it 93-90 with 40.8 seconds left, but Villanueva’s bucket less than five seconds later had the Pistons within a point.

Rose then missed a straight-away three-pointer, but played good defense and forced Stuckey into a tough double-clutch shot along the left baseline. Luol Deng corralled the rebound with nearly five seconds left and Kyle Korver converted two free throws.

Villanueva, under pressure from Kurt Thomas beyond the top of the arc, had his shot hit off the backboard as time expired.

Boozer scored 13 in the opening quarter, helping the visitors to a 23-15 lead after 12 minutes. Chicago went just 5-of-18 from the field in the second, but carried a 40-34 edge into the half.

A 15-2 run by the Bulls had them in control at 58-47 midway through the third quarter. It was 68-57 going to the fourth.

Deng had 10 points…The Bulls, who shot 39.6 percent from the field, return to the Windy City for a four-game homestand, starting Tuesday against Milwaukee…The Pistons play in Charlotte Monday.