The Chicago Bulls, self destructed against the Philadelphia 76ers, in the 4th quarter of Game 3. The Bulls lead was as big as fourteen points and then it vanished. The Bulls missed 10 straight field goals over 5-plus minutes in the fourth to lose all of their 14-point lead. Without Derrick Rose, this was my fear for the Bulls. That they were going to go through scoring droughts, and often. The Sixers scored a measly eleven points in the 3rd quarter, and were down 9 headed to the 4th quarter. Things started to go south for the Bulls, when Center Joakim Noah rolled his ankle on a hard, baseline to baseline drive. He attempted to come back in the game, with the big heart that he has. But he was clearly injured, and had to be taken out and back to the locker room. 76er fans showed how classy they can be, by clapping and jeering as Noah grimaced in pain. When he got up, and walked on his own power, they booed. He was seen leaving the arena on crutches with an air cast. He’s most likely out for game 4, on Sunday, if not the rest of the playoffs. With Rose already out for the season, Bulls might now have to deal without their starting center. This is becoming like a recurring nightmare for Chicago and their fans. Guys like Taj Gibson and Kyle Korver are going to have to step up if the #1 seeded Bulls want to turn this around. Also, Ronnie Brewer was a DNP Coach’s Decision, on Friday night. No word if this was a disciplinary issue, or an injury, but the Bulls are clearly short-handed and need help.
Bulls did their best Sixers act in the 4th by scoring only 14 points, and missed crucial free throws down the stretch. Spencer Hawes hit a long 20 footer to give the Sixers the lead at 72-71, and then, two Evan Turner free throws stretched it to 3. Only shot Bulls would make after that was a John Lucas III three pointer, which made it a one point game. Sixers would hold on for the 79-74 victory. Carlos Boozer had 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Bulls, but he vanished down the stretch and majority of his points came in the 1st half. Luol Deng was irrelevant, as he almost had as many personal fouls as points. He ended up 2-7 from the floor with five points. Without him, the Bulls can just pack it up and start the summer early. C.J. Watson was downright dreadful, and was held SCORELESS in this game. That’s right. Chicago’s starting point guard scored ZERO POINTS in a playoff game. The Bulls never get held in check this bad, but tonight, the 74 points the 76ers allowed, is the fewest ever in franchise playoff history. With a 2-1 series lead, the 8th seeded Sixers look to pull off the upset. The Bulls look lost without Derrick, and now it might even get worse with the loss of Noah. Bulls are a tough-minded team, but I’m not sure how much more of this they can take, physically…and mentally. You stay classy, Philadelphia.
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