Deng leads Bulls past 76ers
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Luol Deng filled the stat sheet with 25 points, seven assists and six rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls past the Philadelphia 76ers, 93-88, at the United Center.
"It seemed like whenever we needed a bucket, he was making big shots. He played a really well, all-around game," Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich said about Deng.
Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah each added a double-double for Chicago, which won its second straight game and earned a bit of payback for being eliminated in the first round of last season's playoffs by Philadelphia.
Boozer finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Noah had 12 points and 13 boards in the win.
Jrue Holiday scored a team-high 23 points and Thaddeus Young followed with 22 for the 76ers, who had a three-game win streak snapped.
The Bulls held a 67-64 lead entering the fourth quarter and held that lead for the remainder of the game.
Philadelphia was able to keep the game tight, but was not able to get closer than two points over the final 12 minutes.
The Sixers' final threat came in the closing seconds when Holiday found Young under the net for a layup to bring Philadelphia within 90-88 with 16.6 seconds remaining.
But Hamilton was able to grab his own rebound after missing the back end of two free throws on the other end. He was then fouled again and connected on both foul shots this time to account for the final margin.
"I thought our guys did as much as we could to win the game. A couple of possessions here or there, and we would have had a chance to win the game," Sixers head coach Doug Collins said. "If we play hard like that every time, we'll find a way to scratch some games out."
The teams traded baskets over the opening minutes until Philadelphia netted seven straight points to go on top, 13-6, with 7 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter.
However, the Bulls closed out the frame with a 16-6 run to carry a 22-19 edge into the second.
Chicago was able to maintain its lead for the majority of the second but after a Deng tip-in gave the Bulls a 36-29 lead with 4 1/2 minutes left in the half, the Sixers reeled off seven in a row to knot the game at 36-36.
A Richard Hamilton jumper followed by a Boozer free throw put an end to the run and put Chicago back on top, but consecutive baskets by Holiday and Evan Turner gave Philadelphia a 40-39 lead with about a minute to play.
Noah answered with a dunk at the other end before Holiday made the front end of two foul shots in the closing seconds to make it a 41-41 game at the break.
The teams continued to trade blows in a third quarter which saw three lead changes and four ties.
The largest lead of the frame belonged to Philadelphia when Jason Richardson converted a three-point play to give the Sixers a 55-50 advantage with about seven minutes remaining.
Chicago, though, outscored Philadelphia, 17-9, for the rest of the quarter to carry a 67-64 lead into the fourth.
Holiday also had seven assists, while Young added seven rebounds ... Hamilton finished with 15 points for the Bulls, who shot 46.9 percent from the floor in the contest, including a 4-for-7 mark from three-point range ... The Sixers connected on 43.9 percent of their shots and went 3-for-12 from beyond the arc ... The game had 10 ties and eight lead changes.
12/02 03:16:05 ET