76ers fall to the Bulls

January 11, 2008 7:44:15 PM PST
Andres Nocioni's joints have been sore and he has been suffering from flu-like symptoms. Still, Nocioni had enough to help the flu-ridden Chicago Bulls beat the struggling Philadelphia 76ers.

Nocioni scored 27 points, Joe Smith added 19 and the Bulls rallied to beat the 76ers 100-97 on Friday night.

Ben Gordon scored 15 points and Kirk Hinrich had 11 as Chicago improved to 14-20 overall and 5-3 under interim coach Jim Boylan.

"For three days it (flu) was bad, but I felt much better (Friday) and had more energy," Nocioni said. "I really wanted to help my team win."

Aside from Nocioni, Hinrich, Tyrus Thomas, Chris Duhon and Ben Wallace have all been battling the flu bug.

"If you want to get it (flu), just go in the locker room," Boylan joked.

Andre Iguodala scored 25 points, Samuel Dalembert had 21 and a season-high 20 rebounds, and Andre Miller added 20 points for the Sixers, who dropped their season-high sixth straight game. They have not won in 2008 with their last victory coming at Seattle, 98-90, on Dec. 31.

It was the first 20-20 game of Dalembert's career and the first by a Philadelphia player since Chris Webber had 27 points and 21 rebounds against Minnesota on Dec. 12, 2005.

"He was good all night," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said of Dalembert. "He got in a little foul trouble and we had to take him out of the game, but Sam's been playing like that. I'm sure he'd trade it for a win."

Lou Williams had 15 points for Philadelphia and Reggie Evans grabbed 13 rebounds.

Nocioni hit a 3-pointer with 6.8 seconds remaining in the third quarter, giving Chicago a 70-58 lead.

The Bulls extended their advantage to 16 early in the fourth on two free throws by Thomas.

Philadelphia chipped away with a 10-1 run and pulled to 94-90 with 1:04 remaining on a dunk by Dalembert. But Nocioni responded with a layup with 39.9 seconds left to put the Bulls back up by six.

"We got great performances from Nocioni and Joe Smith," Boylan said. "Nocioni did a really good job defensively on Iguodala. That was a big part of the win."

Once again, poor shooting plagued the Sixers for long stretches. They hit 42 percent of their shots, including 3-of-6 on 3-pointers.

Philadelphia has hit only 6-of-34 3-pointers and has struggled mightily since trading Kyle Korver to the Utah Jazz on Dec. 29.

"The ball is just not falling our way right now," Miller said. "We've played some good teams and we have to make some shots, play good defense and continue to fight through this."

Chicago quickly fell behind 25-7 late in the first quarter thanks to poor shooting. From that point, the Bulls outscored the Sixers 38-15 to take a 45-40 advantage at halftime.

The Bulls were 13-of-20 from the field in the second quarter and outscored the Sixers 31-13 to regain the lead.

Bulls F Luol Deng missed his third straight game with tendinitis in his left Achilles'. ... Chicago F Joakim Noah was suspended by the team for Friday's game for what Boylan called an "internal disciplinary measure." ... The Sixers begin a difficult three-game road trip Monday in San Antonio followed by trips to Houston and Boston. ... Philadelphia has scored fewer than 100 points in 14 of its last 16 games. ... Chicago shot 5-of-21 from the field in the first quarter. ... Referee Eric Lewis left the game with about 9 minutes remaining with an ankle injury and didn't return. Joe DeRosa and Rodney Mott completed the game.