First-half recap: Sixers 48, Bulls 40
The Bulls played even with the Sixers throughout much of the first half, but they allowed Philadelphia to go on an 10-0 run midway through the second period Jrue Holiday leads the Sixers with 12 points.
Luol Deng leads the Bulls with 10 points, but he has not been the same player on offense since catching an elbow from Sixers guard Andre Iguodala late in the first quarter. Deng bled from the face before being taken straight to the locker room. He got a few stitches, according to Bulls PR, and has not been as aggressive since. Playing on a bad right ankle, Taj Gibson has played well yet again scoring six points – Gibson’s three-pointer in the final two minutes was disallowed after refs reviewed the play. The low point for Gibson came in the first half came when he picked up a technical foul for arguing a call with referee Monty McCutchen.
After not playing much in the past three games, Rip Hamilton has been on the floor a little more and made a difference. He has seven points and figures to get more a chance to play tonight down the stretch given how much the Bulls are struggling to score.
To extend the series, the Bulls must get more from Carlos Boozer. He has 10 rebounds, but he is just 1-for-9 from the field for three points. With Derrick Rose out (torn ACL) and Joakim Noah not playing up to this point (ankle), Boozer has to produce. Up to this point, he hasn't done so offensively. Noah is dressed and sitting on the bench, but if Tom Thibodeau hasn't played him yet, it's hard to believe he will now.