Bulls top 76ers to stave off eliminationMay 9, 2012 - 5:56 AM Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - The shorthanded Chicago Bulls avoided elimination on Tuesday, riding a strong defensive effort to a 77-69 win over the 76ers in Game 5 of their first-round series.
The Bulls, playing without star point guard Derrick Rose and starting center Joakim Noah, limited Philadelphia to just 32.1 percent shooting. Luol Deng made four three-pointers and led Chicago with 24 points while Carlos Boozer added 19 points and 13 rebounds.
The 76ers had won three straight in the series since a Game 1 loss, which saw Rose go down for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. They still lead the series 3-2 and can become just the fifth No. 8 seed in NBA history to knock off a No. 1 seed with a win in Game 6 on Thursday in Philadelphia.
The Bulls, meanwhile, will be looking for force a Game 7 back home.
"We need everybody," said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. "You never know where it's going to come from. ... We have to concentrate on what's next and be ready to go."
Jrue Holiday scored a team-high 16 points on 5-of-17 shooting in the loss.
Deng hit three of his treys in the fourth quarter and his jumper from beyond the arc as the shot clock expired had the Bulls up 67-52 with just over seven minutes left in the game. It marked Chicago's largest lead of the night, but the 76ers responded with a flurry.
Philadelphia, which overcame double-digit deficits on Games 3 and 4, scored six straight, getting a 3 from Holiday before Andre Iguodala forced a turnover and found Spencer Hawes with a behind the back pass in transition. Hawes finished with a layup, drew the foul and hit the free throw.
Ronnie Brewer missed a jumper on the Bulls' next possession, but Iguodala clanged a 22-footer off the rim early in the shot clock and the Bulls took advantage.
Taj Gibson, back in the game after spraining his ankle late in the third quarter, scored four straight points, hitting a jumper and then a pair of free throws, to re-establish the double-digit margin.
The 76ers didn't cut their deficit to single digits until less than a minute remained and by then Chicago had sealed the Game 5 win.
The second quarter proved particularly challenging for the 76ers. They trailed 17-16 after one, but managed just 10 points in the second on 4-of-23 shooting. The Bulls held a 35-26 lead at the half and never trailed in the third quarter.
"The second quarter was a disaster for us offensively," remarked Philadelphia coach Doug Collins.
Noah suffered a sprained left ankle in Game 3 and sat out Game 4. He was a game-time decision on Tuesday...Chicago went 31-2 when holding opponents below 90 points during the regular season...The other 1-8 upsets in NBA history were Memphis over San Antonio (2011), Golden State over Dallas (2007), New York over Miami (1999) and Denver over Seattle (1994).
- PHILADELPHIA: 69
May 9 12:05 AM
- PHILADELPHIA: 48
End of 3rd
May 8 11:26 PM
- PHILADELPHIA: 26
May 8 10:43 PM
- PHILADELPHIA: 16
End of 1st
May 8 10:07 PM
- PHILADELPHIA: 0
1st Quarter - 11:59
May 8 9:43 PM
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