(WSCR) – After a so-so start, the Bulls were given a shot of energy by the debut of Carlos Boozer. In Boozer’s first nine games as a Bull, the team was 7-2, and all seven wins came in a row.
It was last year’s head coach, Vinny Del Negro and the Los Angeles Clippers who snapped the Bulls’ season high streak at seven games.
However, the Bulls will look to get back on track against a Philadelphia 76ers team they’ve dominated recently.
The Bulls will try for their fifth win in six games versus the 76ers when they meet for the first time this season Tuesday night.
Playing for the first time without leading rebounder Joakim Noah, Chicago (16-9) found itself in a close game against the Clippers at home Saturday night.
Trailing by two with 0.8 seconds to go, Derrick Rose went to the free-throw line to try to tie the game. However, after hitting his first attempt, he missed the second and the Bulls fell 100-99.
“I thought I was going to hit them. That’s basketball. I hope I get put in that position again. I know I’m not going to miss it,” said Rose, who is the only player in the league averaging at least 24.0 points and 8.0 assists. “It felt good, but I left it a bit short.”
Rose scored 34 and dished out eight assists while Boozer had 25 points. Boozer is averaging 27.0 points – 9.7 more than his career average – over his previous three games, and he’s averaged 22.6 points and 10.7 rebounds in his last nine against Philadelphia.
Taj Gibson made his first career start at center but was forced to leave in the third quarter after sustaining a concussion. Gibson, though, is likely to be available Tuesday.
The Bulls were outrebounded for the first time in eight games and know they need a better effort with Noah out for up to two months with a thumb injury. He was averaging 11.7 rebounds, among the best in the NBA.
“Teams are going to try to go big against us, especially when we have our three (Luol Deng) at four,” Rose told the Bulls’ official website. “We’ve got to know that as a team and all five rebound or give help when they go in the post and go for the rebound.”
On the first stop of an eight-game trip, Philadelphia (11-16) recorded consecutive road wins for the first time all season by defeating short-handed Orlando 97-89 on Saturday night.
Elton Brand recorded 20 points and 13 rebounds after scoring eight in a 93-81 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night that ended his stretch of 10 straight games in double figures.
The 76ers, winners of six of eight, have stepped up on the defensive end, allowing an average of 84.0 points in their previous five matchups.
“Defensively as a team, this is the best we’ve played as a unit,” Brand said. “It feels like we’re hitting on all cylinders defensively.”
Andre Iguodala, averaging 14.5 points, has scored 19.7 in his last three games and 23.2 over his previous five visits to Chicago.
Philadelphia, which is 3-10 on the road, has lost three straight at the United Center by an average of 17.4 points.
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