NBA Game Summary - Chicago at Philadelphia
(Wednesday, April 5th)
Final Score: Chicago 99, Philadelphia 92
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Andres Nocioni and Ben Gordon each scored 21 points, as the Chicago Bulls leapfrogged Philadelphia in the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after a 99-92 victory over the Sixers at the Wachovia Center.
Nocioni also pulled down 13 rebounds while Tyson Chandler grabbed 15 boards to go along with nine points for the red-hot Bulls, who have won four straight and six of their last seven contests.
The Bulls also moved ahead of Philadelphia by half a game for the eighth playoff spot. Chicago sits 1 1/2 games behind Indiana for the seventh playoff position.
Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng each tallied 14 points and Chris Duhon added 13 in the victory.
"We're just happy to have a win," said Chicago head coach Scott Skiles. "We know we have a game against them (Sixers) on Saturday and now we're the hunted and they're going to be coming after us."
Allen Iverson led all scorers with 26 points and dished out seven assists while Chris Webber posted a double-double with 23 points in 10 rebounds for Philadelphia, which dropped its second straight contest. The Sixers also fell to 2-6 in their last eight home games.
The two clubs will meet again in Chicago on Saturday.
Chicago dominated the first quarter before seeing its lead dwindle during the second stanza.
The 76ers came all the way back to within two points thanks to a 19-4 surge. Philadelphia scored the final eight points to cut the deficit to 41-39. Matt Barnes converted a layup, Andre Iguodala drained a pair of free throws and slammed home a Webber miss and Webber's layup capped the stretch with 2:55 remaining.
The Bulls responded with seven consecutive points as Duhon's two short jumpers bookended Gordon's mid-range jumper. Webber then drained two jumpers to make the score 48-43 at the half.
The second portion of the third quarter looked exactly like the opening stanza. Philadelphia was listless on offense while Chicago penetrated into the lane with purpose. The Bulls used an 11-2 burst over the quarter's final five minutes to take a 71-60 edge.
Chandler and Nocioni each tallied four points with the center's two free throws opening the 11-point lead at the 1:02 mark.
The Bulls' lead reached 83-69 on Chandler's tip-in with 6:39 remaining, but the Sixers later pulled within 89-84 after reeling off seven straight points. Samuel Dalembert's three-point play and Webber's layup with 2:12 left capped the burst.
Iverson drained two free throws to make it a one-possession game, 89-86, with 1:05 to play, but Nocioni converted a layup on the other end.
Webber then missed a jumper and Duhon drained a pair of free throws to seal the victory.
The Bulls used suffocating defense -- a staple of Skiles-coached teams -- and efficient ball movement to open a substantial edge in the first period. Chicago ended the period on an 18-10 scoring stretch to seize a 32-18 advantage.
Nocioni's layup made the score 20-10 with 5:06 left then just over two minutes later Deng converted a running jumper and Gordon drained a tough floating half-hook in the lane.
Gordon's jumper with 1:05 to play capped the first-quarter scoring. The Bulls' sixth man scored 10 points in the period as Chicago shot 60.9 percent from the floor. The Sixers made just 5-of-19 field goal attempts.
"We walked out of the gate looking like we were the ones in the mud and they were a lot quicker than us, faster than us, and kept us on our heels," Philadelphia head coach Maurice Cheeks said.
The Bulls improved to 17-21 on the road...The Sixers fell to 21-17 at home...Both teams shot 45.8 percent from the floor...Chicago won the battle on the boards, 47-40.
04/05 23:52:49 ET