CHICAGO (AP) -- When Dikembe Mutombo is done with basketball, he
doesn't want anyone to talk about how many points he scored or his
Dikembe Mutombo had a triple double that included 10 blocks.
Defense is his first love, and his legacy. Mutombo added to that
legacy Saturday night, recording the 10th triple-double of his
career and tying an NBA record with eight blocked shots in the
third quarter as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Chicago Bulls
Mutombo, whose last triple-double was Feb. 15, 2000, finished
with 16 points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocked shots, a United Center
"I'm glad I have the opportunity to do something I love to
do," said Mutombo, the NBA's first four-time defensive player of
the year. "I've always said, when I leave this game, I want people
to remember me as a great defensive player."
Brad Miller had 11 points, but he sat out most of the third and
all of the fourth quarters after kicking a chair into the crowd.
The chair grazed a fan, Kevin Hurst, but Hurst wasn't hurt.
"That had something to do with that, you bet," Bulls coach Tim
Floyd said when asked if Miller was held out because of the
incident. "I saw that and didn't like that."
Miller said he had no explanation.
"I don't know what to say," he said. "I told the guy I was
sorry. I'm going to write him a personal note."
With the way Mutombo was playing, it was no surprise the Bulls
got frustrated. He had a double-double by halftime, but only one
blocked shot. In the third quarter, though, he swatted away
practically anything that came his way.
He had blocks on three straight possessions at one point,
rejecting layups by Trenton Hassell and Miller, as well as a dunk
attempt by Miller. He blocked two shots in a row by Mercer later in
And for his final, record-tying block, he took rookie Eddy Curry
to task, swatting away a dunk attempt.
"After four or five blocks, I thought they were going to find a
way to shoot the ball," Mutombo said. "... Anybody wants to give
me a chance to get a triple-double, I'll go ahead and take it."
The game was effectively over after the first quarter, as
Philadelphia raced out to a 31-11 lead. Iverson outscored the
entire Bulls squad in the quarter, finishing with 14 points on
5-of-7 shooting. And when he wasn't scoring, he was setting up his
teammates, dishing out four assists in the first period.
Mutombo had 10 rebounds in the first quarter and nine points,
including a hook shot that was pure Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
"Their two stars got off far better than we would have liked,"
Floyd said. "Mutombo scored like he has not all year. He dominated
us on the glass with his rebounding and blocks.
"We never really got anything going. We were able to attack
some, but it was a horrible start."
The 76ers increased their lead to 47-23 on Harpring's jumper
with 5:20 left in the half. But the Bulls staged a run of sorts,
outscoring Philadelphia 17-9 in the final five minutes to pull
within 56-40 at halftime.
"We just played well," Iverson said. "Tonight helped us get
back on track."
Game notes Philadelphia's 31 points in the first quarter and 56 in the
first half were season highs. ... The 76ers have won 10 of their
last 12 games against the Bulls. ... 76ers F Derrick Coleman missed
the game with a hyperextended left knee. ... Philadelphia F Michael
Ruffin, signed Nov. 23 after he was cut by the Bulls, made his
first trip back to Chicago. "I don't have any animosity for the
Bulls," Ruffin said. "They did what they felt they had to do and
I'm in a better situation."