Bulls 93, Sixers 82

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


CHICAGO -- Joakim Noah piled up 23 points, 21 rebounds and a career-high 11 blocked shots, leading the Bulls to a 93-82 victory over Philadelphia on Thursday night.
Fans at the United Center were tuned into Noah's numbers, letting out a loud cheer when he collected blocked shot No. 10 midway through the fourth quarter. It was his third career triple-double. The 11 blocks tied a franchise record for a regulation game, set by Artis Gilmore in 1977.
Carlos Boozer added 21 points and 12 rebounds for Chicago, and Kirk Hinrich scored 15 points and Luol Deng 12.
Deng was shaken up in the final minute of the game after appearing to take an elbow to the chin while trying to defend Philadelphia center Spencer Hawes.
Guard Jrue Holiday led the 76ers with 22 points. Hawes collected 20 points and 15 rebounds.
Both teams have been struggling. The Bulls were 4-8 in February. Philadelphia extended its losing streak to seven in a row and has dropped nine straight on the road.
The Sixers never showed much life against the Bulls, although they did limit Chicago to 38.6 percent shooting from the field. The Bulls stretched a six-point halftime lead to as many as 16 in the third quarter.
Philadelphia managed to pull within 75-71 with 6:39 left after a dunk by Hawes. The Bulls responded with a runner and 3-pointer by Nate Robinson, followed by a lay-in and three-point play from Noah to make it 83-71 with 4:47 remaining.
Thursday marked the 10-month anniversary of Derrick Rose suffering a torn ACL in his left knee. The injury occurred against Philadelphia in the opening game of last season's playoffs.
"I thought for sure he was going to play tonight," Sixers coach Doug Collins said before the game. "He got hurt against Philadelphia, come back against Philadelphia, game on TNT. I could just see him running out like the Adidas commercial tonight."
At the same time, Collins understood why Rose has been patient with his recovery. As usual, Rose worked out on the floor before the game, but there is still no word on when he might play.
"I had knee injuries," Collins said. "Maybe sometimes I tried to come back too soon and it set me back."
NOTES: Richard Hamilton was a late scratch for the Bulls because of lower back spasms. Marco Belinelli, who averaged 15.3 points in 12 previous games as a starter this season, stepped in at shooting guard. ... Collins expressed surprise that his postgame comments after Tuesday's loss to Orlando garnered so much attention. "I guess I'm trending," Collins said before Thursday's game. "It was interesting. I thought I was just talking about what I expected. I think as a coach, that's what you do. There was nobody called out. I just spoke. I've never been a guy that lost a game and competed to your best and was ever disappointed." ... Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain ended his NBA record streak of 35 consecutive made field goals on this date in 1967.