Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah was standing near the scorer’s table during the first half, visibly upset with his team’s performance while he was waiting to check back in.

The Detroit Pistons were outworking his Chicago Bulls - but Noah’s big night was only beginning.

”I just felt like our energy was just low, from the start of the game,” Noah said. ”It’s just human reaction, when there’s not a lot of people in the stands, to kind of put your guard down. I think we regrouped pretty well.”

Noah had 30 points and 23 rebounds [plus six assists, two steals and two blocks], setting career highs in both categories and helping the Bulls beat Detroit for the 16th straight time, 108-104 on Friday night.

”It’s crazy to have numbers like that,” Noah said. ”I knew I was missing a lot of tips in the beginning of the game. In some arenas, they count as rebounds, and some other arenas, they don’t. I’m happy they counted.”

Chicago trailed by as many as 17 points in the second quarter, but the Bulls rallied toward the end of the half and took control in the fourth.

All five Chicago starters finished in double figures, including Carlos Boozer with 24 points. Luol Deng and Marco Belinelli scored 16 apiece.

– Reported by Noah Trister of the Associated Press