Bulls 122, 76ers 90
Not one to stay stuck in the moment, Taj Gibson insisted he’ll
let this one go no matter how tempting it might be to hold onto
The rookie tied a career high with 20 points and had 13
rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls used a big first-half run to beat
the Philadelphia 76ers 122-90 on Saturday night for their fourth
“You’re only as good as your last game,” Gibson said.
And this one was quite impressive. He hit 9 of 14 shots and fed
off newcomer Hakim Warrick in another eye-opening performance from
a rookie whose emergence made the departed Tyrus Thomas
“He’s such a good kid,” coach Vinny Del Negro said. “He is
very coachable. He wants to learn and is always working. I like
some of the passes that he and Hakim made to each other. They
worked well against the zone.”
And they had plenty of help.
Derrick Rose scored 17 points to help the Bulls set a season
high for points. So did Kirk Hinrich, who also buried three
3-pointers to give him 773 in his career and break a tie with Ben
Gordon for the club record.
Newcomer Hakim Warrick had a highlight reel dunk over Thaddeus
Young that “got me going” and finished with 15 points. Brad
Miller scored eight of his 15 during a 23-1 run to close the second
half, turning a three-point deficit into a 58-39 lead and sending
Chicago to his sixth win in seven games. The Bulls set a team
record for fewest turnovers with four while dishing out 26
“They were finding the open man, just making the right plays,”
the Sixers’ Allen Iverson said.
Andre Iguodala led Philadelphia with 23 points. Young scored 17
points, but the Sixers went 8:14 without a field goal during a
drought that spanned the second and third quarters in their most
lopsided loss this season while falling for the third time in four
“We couldn’t hit shots and we couldn’t get stops,” Iguodala
They were leading 38-35 after Iguodala hit two free throws with
5:19 left in the first half.
Miller put back his own miss and led the charge as the Bulls
scored 21 straight before Young hit 1 of 2 free throws with 35
seconds left. Miller added a layup, hit 2 of 3 free throws after
getting fouled on a 3 and buried two more foul shots.
And after Young’s free throw, Rose drove for a layup in closing
seconds to make it a 19-point game at halftime, and he started the
third with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Hinrich then hit one of his
own to make it 64-39 and give him 701 in his career, putting him
ahead of Gordon.
“I don’t feel like I shoot a lot of 3s,” Hinrich said. “I
just take them when it’s available.”
Iverson finally hit a fadeaway jumper for the Sixers’ first
field goal since Rodney Carney’s put-back with 6:59 left in the
first half, but the Bulls continued to pour it on for their second
straight lopsided home win.
They beat the Knicks by 33 on Tuesday and followed up wins at
New York and Minnesota with another impressive showing against a
struggling Sixers team. With the next two games against Washington
and Indiana, Chicago has a chance to keep the streak going.
It would help if they had an effective Joakim Noah.
He entered to loud cheers with 3:33 left in the first quarter
and finished with a point and two rebounds in 7 minutes after
missing seven games with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. That
Noah was in uniform was a surprise considering Del Negro had said
he probably wouldn’t play.
Warrick, in his first home game since the trade deadline deal
with Milwaukee, whipped the crowd into a frenzy late in the opening
quarter, when he pivoted and threw down a one-handed facial over
Young. The groans were just as loud moments later when Noah missed
a dunk even though he was all alone, and he heard it from his
Otherwise, he felt fine.
“I really feel no pain, and I feel really good that we’re
playing such good basketball right now,” he said.
NOTES: The Bulls’ previous low for turnovers was five against
Washington on Feb. 23, 2007. … Sixers G Willie Green missed his
second game with a slightly separated left shoulder. F Jason Smith
missed his third straight game with a sprained right ankle, and
newcomer Francisco Elson, recovering from hernia surgery, was not