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First-half recap: Sixers 44, Bulls 42

5/6/2012

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia 76ers lead the Chicago Bulls at 44-42 halftime in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at the Wells Fargo Center.

Playing without Derrick Rose (torn ACL) and Joakim Noah (ankle), the Bulls’ offense has understandably not had much rhythm. The good news for Tom Thibodeau and his team is that Chicago’s defense was stingy throughout the first 24 minutes -- aside from letting Spencer Hawes knock down a triple at the end of the half.

Taj Gibson has led the way on both sides of the floor for the Bulls, scoring 12 points, grabbing eight rebounds and playing with the type of edge Thibodeau has been searching for. The problem for the Bulls is that nobody else has really contributed offensively. C.J. Watson started the game, played the entire first quarter and didn't score a point. He missed all six of his shots and appears to lack confidence. Carlos Boozer has 10 points. After missing all five of his shots in Game 3, Korver has knocked down both of the ones he's taken on Sunday. He has five points and must continue to knock down open looks when he gets them.

If the Bulls want to even up this series, they must find some way to going offensively. Boozer started off slowly, but he got going toward the end of the half. Luol Deng and Rip Hamilton have combined for 10 points, but they need to be more assertive in the second half. The Bulls cannot count on Taj Gibson to have a similarly stellar second half on the offensive end.

Even in the face off all the injuries the Bulls have suffered, Thibodeau has repeatedly said his team has more than enough to win -- they can prove that in the second half.

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