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Thursday, May 10, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Sixers 79, Bulls 78

By Nick Friedell

PHILADELPHIA -- Let's take a quick look at how the Philadelphia 76ers pulled out a 79-78 win over the Chicago Bulls in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers win the series 4-2.

How it happened: Omer Asik stepped to the line with just over seven seconds left and clanked a pair of free throws. Andre Iguodala grabbed the rebound and immediately drove the ball all the way down the floor. He was fouled by Asik with 2.2 seconds left and made both free throws. C.J. Watson missed a half-court shot at the buzzer and that's how the game ended.

Luol Deng and Rip Hamilton each had 19 points to lead the Bulls, but it wasn't enough as both teams struggled to find offensive consistency throughout the night.

What it means: The Bulls deserve a lot of credit for grinding all the way until the end in this game, but they simply didn't have a closer when it mattered most. The loss of Derrick Rose (torn ACL) and Joakim Noah (sprained ankle) proved to be too much. The Bulls could not knock down a shot when they had to have one down the stretch.

While there are plenty of reasons the Bulls didn't pull this game out, fans will surely focus most on the offensive performance of Carlos Boozer. He could not find a rhythm, struggling when the Bulls' offense was in a rut.

After a season full of such promise, the Bulls will have a hard time swallowing what has happened to them over the past two weeks. Now an offseason full of uncertainty begins as the Bulls wait for Rose to begin his rehabilitation program and see if Deng has to indeed have surgery after the Olympics.

Stat of the night: Boozer was 1-for-11 from the field and scored just three points.

Bold play of the game: Iguodala's race down the floor and clutch foul shots with 2.2 seconds left is something Philly will be talking about for a long time.

What's next: The Bulls' season is over.