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News » Sixers show fight but fall to Bulls

Sixers show fight but fall to Bulls

Sixers show fight but fall to Bulls CHICAGO - In front of a sellout crowd at the United Center last night, the 76ers did something they had not done the night before: They played every possession hard.

Unfortunately for the Sixers , the outcome was the same: They lost, outlasted by the Chicago Bulls, 94-88.

The Sixers dropped to 4-6. The Bulls improved to 5-4.

On Friday night, the Sixers were outhustled and outplayed in a loss to the Utah Jazz. Last night's game was fought hard, if not well executed.

"Night and day from [the Utah game], and if we would have had some shots go down, I think it's a different ball game . . .," Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said. "I liked the way we executed, our defense was into itself, I liked the way we rebounded. And yet we couldn't make free throws or open shots tonight when it counted."

The Sixers , led by Andre Iguodala with a game-high 24 points, finished shooting 42 percent from the floor and 61.9 percent from the free-throw line.

"Against Utah, our toughness was questioned, and I don't think we brought the fight like we needed to, but here I thought we did a better job," guard Willie Green said.

Until the last few minutes of the third quarter, the Sixers controlled the game. They led by a point at halftime and by nine during the third quarter. But by the fourth quarter's start, the Sixers trailed by four.

Quickly, it became more.

Jordan opened the fourth in a three-quarter-court press, dropping into a zone defense.

Within a few minutes - and a changed defense later - the Bulls had opened a 14-point lead. Midway through, the lead had reached 17.

The Bulls finished with six players in double figures, led by Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich with 19 apiece.

A few minutes into the fourth, Sixers reserve forward Marreese Speights left the game with a sprained left knee. Speights, who will be further evaluated today, did not return.

For the final 9 minutes, 38 seconds, Jordan went with reserve Rodney Carney.

Power forward Elton Brand did not play the game's final 12:45. He finished with 11 points and six rebounds.

From the jump ball, the Sixers played the way they should play: running, slashing, blocking, and boarding. In the first three minutes, each of the Sixers' five starters did what he is supposed to do. Center Samuel Dalembert had an overpowering block; Iguodala had a dunk in transition; Thaddeus Young made all of his free throws; Lou Williams, who outplayed Chicago star point guard Derrick Rose, slashed and finished; and Brand backed himself into the low post and faded for a jumper.

The Bulls were forced to call a time-out, trailing, 11-2. Midway through the first quarter, the fans started shifting in their seats, listless, their team trailing by 17-4.

Within minutes, Chicago drained that lead, responding with an 18-3 run and taking a 22-20 lead.

Iguodala acknowledged that the Sixers relinquished their lead too quickly.

"I think I have to be a little more aggressive there, get to the foul line or something to stop that run," he said. "But I saw a lot of things that I think were positive. . . . I actually think we made some improvements."

Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at 856-779-3844 or kfagan@phillynews.com.

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 16, 2009


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