CHICAGO -- Derrick Rose is still sidelined and the Chicago Bulls never got to experience the playoff run they expected last spring. But they did enjoy a bit of revenge on Saturday, beating playoff foe Philadelphia 93-88 at the United Center.
The Bulls entered the fourth quarter with a 3-point advantage and never lost the lead. A steal by Joakim Noah led to a fast-break dunk from Taj Gibson, giving the Bulls their largest lead at 76-68 with 7:40 remaining.
Philadelphia closed within 81-79 with 2:57 left when Jrue Holiday hit a 3-pointer. Chicago answered with a Luol Deng jumper and Gibson dunk to make it 85-79 with 1:44 on the clock.
The 76ers could have gotten possession trailing by three after Richard Hamilton missed a free throw with 14.7 seconds left. But Noah kept the rebound alive, tipped it out to Hamilton and he nailed both foul shots to clinch the result.
Deng led the Bulls with 25 points, Hamilton had 15, while Noah finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Holiday led Philadelphia with 23 points and Thaddeus Young added 22.
The Bulls got a scare in the third quarter when Hamilton made a jump pass near the sideline and fell to the floor clutching his left leg.
A pair of teammates carried Hamilton to the locker room while he put no weight on the leg. The injury was termed a left foot sprain and Hamilton returned to the floor with 20.8 seconds left when the Bulls needed free-throw shooters on the floor.
Philadelphia was playing the second leg of back-to-back games, winning at Charlotte on Friday. The Bulls had two days off after beating Dallas on Wednesday.
The Sixers got off to a quick start, jumping to an early 13-6 lead. The Bulls turned things around with a 23-8 run to build an eight-point lead early in the second quarter. The visitors pulled back into a 41-41 tie by halftime.
Evan Turner and Noah were whistled for double technical fouls in the final minute of the first half. The two started jawing not long after Turner hit a tough fadeaway over the taller Noah.
NOTES: This was the first meeting between the Bulls and 76ers since last season's first-round playoff series. Philadelphia became the fifth No. 8 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed in the first round, although the Bulls lost All-Star guard Derrick Rose to a left knee injury in the final minute of Game 1 and Noah missed the final three contests with a sprained ankle. ... The Sixers have just five players who played in the clinching Game 6 against the Bulls: Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen. The Bulls have seven players back, including the still-recovering Rose. ... Philadelphia guard Nick Young sat out Saturday with a hyperextended big toe on his left foot.