76ers 79, Bulls 74

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


PHILADELPHIA -- Spencer Hawes scored 21 points Friday night, including the go-ahead jumper with 2:11 left, as the Philadelphia 76ers battled back from a 14-point deficit in the final 10:15 to defeat the Chicago Bulls 79-74 in Game 3 of their NBA Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.
Jrue Holiday added 17 points and Evan Turner had 16 for the eighth-seeded Sixers, who scored 15 of the game's last 18 points and now own a 2-1 lead over the No. 1 Bulls in the series.
Carlos Boozer had 18 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Bulls, who built a 67-53 lead with 10:15 left in the game. Chicago was still leading 71-64 with 5:03 remaining, but the Sixers reeled off the next 11 points.
The flurry included Hawes' jumper from the left wing, which put the Sixers ahead to stay at 72-71. Turner made two free throws with 1:24 to play, and Holiday added another with 49 seconds left, but Chicago guard John Lucas III sank a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 75-74 with 43 seconds remaining.
Turner and Holiday each made two free throws in the closing seconds to close it out.
The Sixers outscored the Bulls 28-14 in the fourth quarter, after being outscored 21-11 in the third period.
Boozer shot 5-for-6 and scored 10 points in a back-and-forth first quarter, which ended with the Bulls holding a 20-19 lead.
After the Sixers went ahead early in the second quarter -- one of 15 lead changes in the first half -- the Bulls assembled an 11-3 run that included seven points by reserve guard John Lucas III. That gave Chicago a 33-26 lead with 6:25 left in the period.
The Sixers then went on a 14-4 tear, to which Evan Turner contributed five points, giving them a 40-37 advantage. It was 40-39 at halftime, at which point Lou Williams had 10 points and Spencer Hawes nine, along with six rebounds.
Boozer finished the first half with 12 points and Rip Hamilton 10 for Chicago.
NOTES: Friday's game was the first the Sixers played in the Wells Fargo Center since April 17. Their last five regular-season games were on the road. "I told our coaches when I came back in this building today, it was almost like it was a new season, we've been gone so long," coach Doug Collins said. ... Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was a Sixers assistant in '94-95 and '95-96, when the team went 24-58 and 18-64, respectively, under coach John Lucas. "The team wasn't very good ... but all the other stuff was very good," Thibodeau said. "It's a great basketball city -- college, pro, high school. It's a great area, and people understand the game." Lucas' son, John III, was one of the ballboys on those teams. He is now a reserve guard for the Bulls. ... The Sixers announced at halftime that all-time great Julius Erving has been hired to the new position of strategic advisor to the organization. ... Actor/comedian Bill Murray, an Illinois native, was in the crowd.

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