Nocioni's 26 points help Bulls rally past 76ersJan 12, 2008 - 5:50 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Andres Nocioni and the Chicago Bulls decided to wait an entire quarter before playing their game.
Nocioni scored 26 points as the Bulls overcame a huge first-quarter deficit before rallying for a 100-97 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.
Ben Gordon scored 15 points off the bench and Kirk Hinrich added 12 and seven assists for Chicago, which had put together back-to-back bad quarters before righting itself.
Philadelphia, losers of a season-worst six straight, now begins a tough three-game road swing against San Antonio, Houston and Boston.
"We seem to play up to our competition so, hopefully, we'll play good basketball," 76ers swingman Andre Iguodala said. "Any game that we can come back is good to have, but give Chicago credit. They played well and made their shots."
On Tuesday, the Bulls led the Knicks, 88-77, entering the final period before being outscored, 28-12, in a 105-100 loss to New York.
"We'd been tested before," Bulls interim coach Jim Boylan said. "But I have a lot of faith in the guys. They're tough-minded and give everything they have. When we got down, the message was to not panic and to chip away and we did."
In this one, Chicago trailed Philadelphia, 27-14, after one quarter, courtesy of a 16-0 run in the period by the 76ers. Andre Miller had eight points in the spurt and finished the quarter with 10 points.
However, the Bulls woke up in the second, outscoring the Sixers, 31-13, to take a 45-40 lead at the break.
"We started off slow and they played harder than us in the first five minutes," Nocioni said. "We started to play much better in the second quarter with more energy. We started to make some open shots and we dominated the second half except for the last three minutes."
Chicago began the period on a 13-4 burst, which was capped by a fast-break layup by Chris Duhon to cut Philadelphia's lead to 31-27 with 6:35 left. Gordon nailed two 3-pointers in the run.
Later in the period, Chicago went on a 13-3 run, capped by a layup by reserve Aaron Gray with 87 seconds left in the half.
Nocioni, who connected on 11-of-18 shots from the floor, hit a jumper and ensuing foul shot with two seconds left in the intermission.
"I felt comfortable and played with a lot of confidence," Nocioni said. "When I was open, I just took my shot. I tried to play an all-around game with some solid defense."
"I knew Andres would leave it all out on the floor, " Boylan said. "He started off slow, but turned it up. When he gets going like that, he can go forever. He was great."
Chicago began the second half on a 7-0 run to take a 52-40 lead at the 10:34 mark of the third. Nocioni began it with a shot from the arc and then finished the period with a 3-pointer with six seconds left to give the Bulls a 70-58 advantage heading into the fourth.
Joe Smith, who finished with 19 points, scored nine in the final period for Chicago, which shot 45 percent (37-of-82) from the field and had 28 assists.
Philadelphia trailed by 12 points after Smith's free throw with 2:21 left before reeling off an 8-0 burst capped by Samuel Dalembert's follow shot with 64 seconds left. However, Nocioni drove by three defenders to make a layup with 39 ticks on the clock to help preserve the win.
"That's one thing that I learned playing with those guys (Sixers)," said Smith, who spent the better part of last season with in Philadelphia. "There were a lot of times last season when they were down and came back and won. I knew they were going to keep charging. It was just a matter of us maintaining what we had done and it worked out in the end."
Iguodala scored 25 points, Miller scored 20 and Dalembert had 21 and 20 rebounds for the Sixers, who shot 42 percent (34-of-81) and have dropped four of five at home.
"We didn't want to go down that many points, but we kept competing," 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "At some point, (the losing) is going to turn around because we lean on each other, keep fighting and never give up."
PHILADELPHIA 97 FINAL
Jan 11 9:36 PM
PHILADELPHIA 58 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 11 8:47 PM
PHILADELPHIA 40 HALFTIME
Jan 11 8:07 PM
PHILADELPHIA 27 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 11 7:36 PM
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