Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 96, 76ers 89
By Nick Friedell
PHILADELPHIA -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned an impressive 96-89 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Center.
How it happened: Joakim Noah scored 21 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and dished out 5 assists in 44 minutes as the Bulls pulled out a win they will be extremely proud of. Luol Deng added 19 points and 12 rebounds in 37 minutes, while Marco Belinelli scored 16 and Nate Robinson added 14. Jrue Holiday led all scorers with 26 for the Sixers, but it wasn't enough.
What it means: Playing on the second night of a tough back-to-back, the Bulls could easily have folded up and given away this game to the Sixers. Credit to Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau and his team for not allowing that to happen. The Bulls were understandably tired coming into the game, but they dug deep to find enough energy to win. It's been the case all year, but it's obvious how much the rest of the players feed off Noah and Deng. Noah always remembered that the Philly fans cheered when he got hurt in the playoffs last season and he clearly wanted to put on a performance for them. He was the spark plug that gave the Bulls energy when they tired, and he was the one who knocked down a couple of key shots late in the game.
Hits: Marquis Teague continues to gain confidence every time he is on the floor. The rookie scored just 4 points but made a few crucial plays down the stretch.
Misses: After playing so well on Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, Carlos Boozer had a poor outing Wednesday night, scoring just 5 points and grabbing 6 rebounds in 26 minutes. He was 1-for-6 from the field.
Stat of the night: The Bulls landed in Philadelphia just before 3:30 Wednesday morning and clearly were up for the challenge by tipoff.
What's next: The Bulls will be off Thursday. They face the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night at the United Center in Chicago.