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News » Not pretty, but Bulls will take it

Not pretty, but Bulls will take it

Not pretty, but Bulls will take it This is a stretch of the Bulls ? schedule where it gets personal for guard John Salmons ? consecutive games against his two former teams, Philadelphia and Sacramento.

Considering Philadelphia is also his hometown, Saturday?s game at the United Center was a nice chance for Salmons to break out of an early-season slump.

"It?s always good to beat your former team," he said. "It?s always fun to show them you moved on."

Salmons did OK, producing 14 points and hitting 5 of 12 shots. A couple of other Bulls , Kirk Hinrich and Brad Miller, posted season-high scoring nights to help the Bulls finish off a sloppy 94-88 victory over the 76ers.

Hinrich hit 6 of 10 shots for 19 points, while Miller added 14. The Bulls (5-4) had been averaging 88.6 points per game while shooting 42.1 percent from the field, so they showed some slight improvement offensively by posting 94 points and shooting 44.9 percent.

At the same time, the Bulls piled up 21 turnovers, including 7 by point guard Derrick Rose, who finished with 14 points and 3 assists.

"It?s just one of those games," Rose said. "I was driving, they were taking the ball from me. We can?t have that on the road."

This was the Bulls ? last home date before leaving on the six-game circus road trip. They won?t play at the United Center again until Dec. 2 when Ben Gordon returns with the Pistons.

Saturday?s victory wasn?t easy, even though the Bulls led by 17 with 5:40 remaining. They fell behind at the start 20-6, then trailed by 9 early in the third quarter.

The Sixers were smarting from a 22-point homecourt thumping on Friday by the Utah Jazz, which played without point guard Deron


"If you really have a passion for the game and passion for winning and competing, then you won?t get pushed around," Philadelphia coach Eddie Jordan said after the loss to Utah. "You?ll learn your lesson."

Coach Vinny Del Negro is hoping the Bulls learn their lesson about starting slowly. They quickly erased the 20-6 deficit by producing a 16-0 run. But then they let Philadelphia score the first 8 points of the third quarter and trailed 49-40.

"It?s the starters? responsibility," Del Negro said. "Like I told them, if they can?t handle that, then I have to make changes quicker. Luckily, I have a lot of confidence in Kirk and Brad. I thought they were the big difference for us."

Thanks to some sloppy play down the stretch, the 76ers got as close as 90-85 with 57.5 seconds left when Rodney Carney drained a 3-pointer. But Philadelphia missed badly from 3-point range on their next two possessions and the Bulls finally put it away at the line.

Center Joakim Noah finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. He?s collected double-digit rebounds in eight of the nine games and leads the NBA with a 12.2 average.

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 17, 2009


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