The Chicago Bulls went into game five of their first-round matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers at the United Center Tuesday night with their backs against the wall as they had lost the previous three games to the Philadelphia 76ers and trailed 3-1 in the series. Derrick Rose went down for the season after tearing his ACL in game one; while Joakim Noah has not played since game three after he sprained his left ankle. Chicago had to win the contest to keep their series alive against the eighth seeded Sixers. They would get the job done being carried to victory by two players; Luol Deng who dropped a game high 24 points and Carlos Boozer who racked up a double-double with 19 points scored more than half of Chicago’s total points for the game as they topped Philadelphia 77-69.
Both teams would be offensively-challenged during the first 24 minutes of action, however Philadelphia would fall behind by nine points at the half and shooting 32.1% (25-78) from the floor for the contest, they never came close to challenging their opponents in the final two periods. Jrue Holiday had 16 points to lead his club while Lou Williams came off the bench with 13 points.
The two opponents must have left their scoring ability inside their locker rooms during the opening period, as it was nowhere to be found on the court of the United Center. Deng drained a 25-foot trey with one second to play and Chicago held a 17-16 edge at the end of the quarter. Philadelphia could only muster 10 points in the 12 minutes of the second quarter and as the game reached the half the Bulls would be on top 35-26.
Chicago would hold a double-digit advantage for most of the third, however with 2:05 remaining, Lavoy Allen split a pair at the line cutting the home team’s lead to 53-46. Boozer would drive the lane with two seconds in the period, putting the ball in the cylinder and putting his team ahead 57-48 at the conclusion of the quarter. The Sixers would never get closer than trailing by seven points in the final quarter as the Bulls live to play game six.
Deng knocked down 24 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals and 1 assist in the victory. Boozer had 19 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists and a block for the night.
Holiday scored 16 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks while Williams added 13 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds. Spencer Hawes once again notched a double-double with 11 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks while Andre Iguodala added 11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 assist and 1 block. The series heads back to Philadelphia for game six on Thursday with the Sixers leading 3-2.