for this game

Bulls turn tables on slumping 76ers; Iverson hurt

Dec 7, 2006 - 4:48 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- A dozen days ago, the Philadelphia 76ers left the Chicago Bulls at their low point of the season. On Wednesday, the Bulls returned the favor.

Ben Gordon scored 17 of his 31 points in a first-quarter ambush as the Bulls rolled to a 121-94 victory over the 76ers, who lost superstar Allen Iverson to an injury and their fifth straight game.

Luol Deng had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Ben Wallace added 12, eight and three blocks for the Bulls, who have won six in a row since their loss at Philadelphia on November 24.

"They got us pretty good at there place, so we wanted to come out tonight and redeem ourselves," Gordon said. "That game left a bad taste in our mouths."

In that game, Wallace was held without a point, rebound or block and the Bulls gave up a season-high 123 points as they fell to 0-6 on their road trip. They won the next night in New York, but not without a dust-up between Wallace and coach Scott Skiles over a headband.

"They caught us at their place and we were down," Deng said. "But this is the NBA - you just get up the next day and think about the next team and we did that. We have been winning ever since."

Chicago placed seven scorers in double figures and shot a scorching 61.5 percent (48-of-78) from the field, resembling the team many predicted to challenge for the Eastern Conference championship.

"We had a lot of energy early in the game," Skiles said. "We really moved the ball well from the start. We played an unselfish game for the most part. As a result, we got a nice lead and coasted in."

"Ben Wallace is playing much differently then when we saw him last time," 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "He has adjusted and he is the cornerstone of that team. He is anchoring that defense."

Meanwhile, Philadelphia is in a tailspin. The Sixers have allowed nearly 108 points per game during their slide and have lost by an average of 13.6 points.

"I don't think the team is down," Cheeks said. "Even though we have lost a lot of games, we still have our effort. Tonight we had a bad start, but everyone was still trying; nobody gave up."

Philadelphia continues to rely too heavily on Iverson, the NBA's second-leading scorer who went hobbling off the court with back spasms after the third quarter.

"My back was bothering me at halftime," Iverson said. "It continued and by the end of the third quarter I felt like I had enough."

The Bulls never trailed, racing to an 18-6 lead in the first 5 1/2 minutes as Deng scored eight points. Gordon came on shortly thereafter and took complete control after the Sixers closed to 20-14.

In less than 3 1/2 minutes, Gordon scored 17 points without missing a shot. He made two 3-pointers around a jumper, sank three free throws after being fouled on a 3-pointer, drained two more from the line, threw in a banker and hit two more foul shots for a 39-16 lead.

"I didn't know I did that. Wow," Gordon said. "I can't remember the last time I did that, but that's great."

"Ben can just take it on his own and his scores are different from the other players," Skiles said. "The other guys have to rely on each other for the most part."

Rookie Tyrus Thomas scored nine of his 11 points in the second quarter as Chicago settled for a 69-48 halftime lead and a season high for first-half points.

Philadelphia made an early push in the third quarter as Iverson sent Kirk Hinrich to the bench with his fourth foul. All that did was bring on Gordon, who scored 10 points in the period, rebuilding the lead to 96-70 entering the final 12 minutes.

Andres Nocioni scored 14 points and Chris Duhon and P.J. Brown added 10 apiece for the Bulls, who held a 43-29 advantage in rebounds. Duhon had a career-high 12 assists and Brown was part of a bench that outscored Philadelphia's reserves, 64-31.

Iverson scored 25 points and Samuel Dalembert added 14 points and 11 boards for the Sixers, who shot 47 percent (34-of-73).

"When we have lost 12 out of 14 games, then something needs to be done, something needs to change," Iverson said. "Something needs to be scrambled up. We need to figure out how to play a different way. What we are doing now isn't getting it done."

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