The injury ravaged Chicago Bulls are now on life-support after dropping their third straight game to the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday by a final margin of 89-82. After taking the first game of the match-up; which cost them the services of All-Star point guard Derrick Rose, the top-seeded Bulls have stumbled in their last three contests. The Bulls were without the services of another one of their starters on Sunday, as Joakim Noah was sidelined with a left-ankle sprain and Omer Asik who replaced him in the pivot, failed to impress.
Chicago would start the game with their offense stuck in neutral and although they would start the final 12 minutes trailing by just one point heading into the fourth; they failed to get the ball consistently in the basket and the Sixers pulled way for the victory. Center Spencer Hawes led the way for Philadelphia with 22 points while Jrue Holiday added 20 more in the win. Carlos Boozer racked up a double-double with a game high 23 points to lead the visitors while point guard C.J. Watson had 17 in the game.
The Bulls offense was apparently on Central Time during the opening 12 minutes of action, as it was nowhere to be found at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia; which of course is on Eastern Daylight Time. Thaddeus Young hit a pair at the charity stripe with 33 seconds left in the first and the Sixers held a 24-15 advantage at the end of the period. Chicago recovered their shooting touch in the second and held a one point edge until Hawes drained a 24 foot trey with five seconds remaining and Philadelphia was on top 44-42 as the contest reached the half.
The two opponents traded the lead throughout the entire third quarter; with neither team going ahead by more than four points in the period. Watson hit a shot with 47 seconds to play in the third and the Sixers held a razor-thin lead of 64-63 at the end of the quarter. Philadelphia started the final quarter with an 8-2 run and although the Bulls got back to within one point of their hosts; they could not close the gap and fell to 3-1 in the series.
The two teams will be back on the court Tuesday night, as the action returns to the United Center and the Bulls backs against the wall for the rest of the series.