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Bulls Run Down Pistons 99-90

Toni Kukoc, a surprise starter after Dennis Rodman missed practice, scored 22 points and the Chicago Bulls withstood the late 3-point shooting of Lindsey Hunter for a 99-90 win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

Michael Jordan added 21 points and had 12 rebounds while Scottie Pippen had 20 points for the Bulls.

Hunter had five 3-pointers and 19 points in the fourth quarter. He finished 7-for-19 on 3s and with 31 points. Brian Williams had 21 before fouling out with 3:42 left.

Kukoc scored 14 of his points in the second half as Chicago beat Detroit for the 18th time in the last 19 meetings.

The Bulls, who let a late 23-point lead slip away in their previous game against Atlanta, were up by 10 after three quarters.

But the Pistons rallied behind Hunter, closing to 74-70 as Hunter hit a pair of 3-pointers and Williams muscled in for a basket.

Bulls reserves Randy Brown and Jason Caffey hit jumpers and Caffey added a free throw, giving the Bulls a nine-point cushion.

Then Pippen, with the shot clock about to expire, took an inbounds pass, dribbled away from the basket and lofted a long 3-pointer to make it 82-70. Two more free throws by Caffey completed a 10-0 run that pushed the lead to 14 points.

But Hunter hit three more 3s, the final one pulling the Pistons to within 95-90 with 23 seconds left, before Jordan secured the win with two free throws.

Kukoc made a steal and dunk, scored again on a long pass behind the Pistons defense and Pippen hit Ron Harper with a perfect alley oop pass, completing a 10-4 run that gave Chicago a 10-point lead after three quarters.

NOTES: Rodman, who entered the game with 2:50 left in the first quarter, played 21 minutes with no points and eight rebounds. He missed the Sunday morning shootaround. ...The Bulls are 14-4 since Pippen returned from a foot injury. ...The Pistons have lost five straight on the road.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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