CHICAGO, MAY 28 -- Detroit Pistons' basketball is predicated on attacking, defensive pressure and hard fouls. Those words described the Chicago Bulls today, who took the play to the defending NBA champions and tied the Eastern Conference finals at two games each with a 108-101 victory.

Chicago grabbed a 16-point halftime lead, then had enough gumption to withstand the inevitable Detroit counterattack, hitting 18 of 22 free throws in the fourth quarter, when the Pistons fouled at every opportunity to stop the clock.

As usual, Michael Jordan took just about every shot in the fourth quarter for the Bulls, scoring 19 of his game-high 42 points. But as they have in these playoff victories at home, other Chicago players made contributions. John Paxson scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, hitting six of 11 shots.

Scottie Pippen was in foul trouble most of the game, but finished with 14 points. Horace Grant had 11 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocks, and Bill Cartwright's 11 points included a fourth-quarter three-point play that was at the heart of a 9-0 run that blunted Detroit's momentum.

Isiah Thomas had 26 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists for the Pistons. Joe Dumars came alive in the third quarter, scoring 17 of his 24 points as Detroit closed to 71-68. And Dennis Rodman had a superb game with 20 points and 20 rebounds.

But Detroit again got almost nothing from center Bill Laimbeer, who shot one for seven and totaled four points with six rebounds. James Edwards was three of 10 for nine points in 22 minutes. It got to the point that Detroit put in little-used William Bedford for six minutes of the second half.

Detroit had a huge rebounding edge, 52-37. Lack of rebounding had killed them in Game 3 Saturday. But 37-percent shooting did them in today, along with a Chicago defense that pressured the Pistons' guards all over the floor as Detroit totaled 22 turnovers.

"Today was probably the best game we played all year, in terms of a good 48-minute effort," Jordan said. "It's been a long time since we've had that kind of success against Detroit."

They did it by picking up the Pistons' guards much higher on the court than they had been. They switched off on every possession, never allowing Thomas or Dumars room to drive. And they threw in a little full-court pressure every once in a while.

"We're just playing good defense," Grant said. "The trapping defense played a very key part. Without that, we give them the opportunity to come down and set up their half-court offense. . . . . I think we have some very quick guards and forwards. I played Vinnie Johnson out there for a while."

Chicago held Detroit without a field goal for more than nine minutes at the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second, 16 straight possessions. The Pistons shot 25 percent the first quarter, 31 percent for the half. And the Bulls scored on layins or in transition almost the entire half, taking a 51-35 lead.

"The first half was so sporadic," Thomas said, "that we were never really in a position to even run our offense. We just didn't handle {the pressure} well. It's nothing that we haven't seen before, nothing that we haven't experienced before."

Dumars got to the basket and free throw line in the third, as Detroit went on an 18-5 run late in the quarter. Rodman contributed offensive rebounds and Chicago turned over the ball, as Thomas freelanced defensively and created havoc.

Two three-pointers by Dumars brought the Pistons to 67-64 with 2:19 left in the third; Detroit trailed by 71-68 after three. Jordan, playing point guard, had the ball on every possession to begin the fourth, and though the Pistons scored on five straight possessions early in the quarter, Jordan had 11 of the Bulls' first 13 points to keep them ahead, 84-76.

"Their pressure totally took us out of our offense," Jordan said. "We saw ourselves scrambling and trying to get offensive opportunities. The few times I was trying to penetrate, Joe stepped up and tried to take the charge. They picked up their double-teaming and Isiah started coming at me."

Cartwright's three-pointer made it an 11-point lead, and Jordan finished the burst with free throws at 5:43, giving the Bulls an 89-76 lead. Dumars finally scored for the Pistons with 5:02 remaining, but Paxson then drilled a big three-pointer after Grant's offensive rebound.

By then, Detroit was too far gone. The Pistons got as close as five in the last minutes, then four on a three-pointer by Vinnie Johnson with 38 seconds left. But Chicago made all the free throws it had to to keep the game from getting closer.

And the Bulls have established a tone. Each of Ed Nealy's five fouls was a hard one; one almost started a scuffle when he clubbed Dumars going to the basket. Any Piston that went to the basket was collared or sent to the floor.

Said Chicago Coach Phil Jackson: "I told the guys before the game started that they get six fouls in the NBA -- use every one of them. We didn't use all of them, but we let them know we came to play."

Now, of course, it's a three-game series. But Detroit has two at home, where the Pistons are 7-0 this season in postseason and 15-1 the last two postseasons; the one loss however was to Chicago. Still, the Pistons do not lose at The Palace much, and the Bulls gave no indication in the first two games there that they'd make a dent in that record.

"They can win all of their games here," Thomas said. "The bottom line is, they still have to win in Detroit. We have the home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. When we go on the road, if we win, it's just an extra feather in our caps. But we plan to protect at home."