Philadelphia 76ers vs. Chicago Bulls: Live Blog, Play-by-Play Analysis, Reaction
Follow along with us tonight as the Philadelphia 76ers try to close out the Chicago Bulls.
Thibs gets asked about the two to one free-throw discrepancy in the game, which was very physical and has been a consistent theme of the series. The Sixers have just been getting more calls than the Bulls.
Thibs just nods and smiles for about five seconds (as the reporters laugh) , starts to answer and then says, "Yeah....you know...you know, I'm not going to say anything. Some things are better left unsaid.
Bulls fans are starting to believe.
I'm getting encouraged about a Game 7 in Chicago Saturday...Deng ALIVE...He and Taj on adrenaline cuz they're both hurting like hell...— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) May 9, 2012
And so are the Bulls
And the Bulls win and suddenly it's 3-2 which sounds a whole lot better, especially with the potential Game 7 in Chicago.
It comes down to Game 6 in Philadelphia, but there are huge questions. Will Noah be able to play? Will Gibson be able to play?
The Sixers are probably not going to shoot that badly again.
On the other hand the Bulls got Boozer and Deng going and that is a formula that they can ride to victory. The pair combined 43 points and 21 boards.
Defensively Gibson and Asik absolutely owned the paint. They combined for seven blocks and the team as a whole had 11. They fiercely defended the paint tonight and that was really the reason they won.
The Sixers were just intimidated to shoot in the paint and when they did it was either blocked or altered due to the threat of a block.
The CSN Chicago Player of the Game was Taj. He had a game where the stats truly don't tell what he did.
From the Philadelphia side of things you can't be too bothered. You have the chance to seal your series win at home. That's something in itself. They played with house money tonight and they lost the house money, but it's just house money.
I expect a much tougher fight in the next game as in many ways both teams will fighting for their playoff lives. The 76ers do not want to try and come back and win it in the United Center.
Hawes with an obvious pushing foul (though they called it on Turner for some reason).
Holiday makes a pair of free throws with 55.5 seconds left. It's 77-69 Bulls. If they simply take care of the ball they win this game.
Luol Deng with his third three as the shot clock winds down to put the Bulls back up by 12. He's 4-5 from deep tonight and three of those were with two seconds or less left on the shot clock.
Deng has 24 points and eight boards. Boozer has 19 points and 11 boards.
Holiday has 14 for the Sixers and Williams has 13.
This has really been a heartfelt effort by the Bulls tonight. They clearly are not ready for their season to end.
Gibson fouls Holiday behind the arc and Holiday makes all three free thorws to cut the lead to 74-64 at the two minute mark.
Right now Taj is limping up and down the court. He is fighting through this game.
People will criticize Thibs for this but he'll have all offseason to recover if the Bulls lose.
With 3:18 left the Bulls have a 10 point lead, 72-62 and the ball.
Ronnie Brewer with what might be the most vehemently I've ever see him argue a call. Refs were so shocked they changed the call.
Brewer is just not the type to argue calls.
Bulls now 4-8 from the stripe. Up 72-60 in the game with 3:58 left to go. The Sixers have been trying to put the pressure on the Bulls but so far the Bulls have responded.
Gibson limping on that fast break into timeout with 5:39 left. Next man up may be Dickey Simpkins— Sam Smith (@SamSmithHoops) May 9, 2012
The Bulls are defending the paint like it's their mother tonight. They aren't letting Philadelphia get anything in there.
Taj would have normally gone "Facebook" on that play but with the ankle he just doesn't have the same explosiveness.
Meanwhile, I love that Aziz Ansari commerical. He has to be one of the funniest people on the planet.
"Look, I'm going through the rapids!"
Taj Gibson ends the run and the crowd loves it.
Then the Sixers go on a quick six point run to cut the lead to nine with 6:35 left. 67-58 Sixers.
Deng and boozers are really playing well tonight. Lucas not able to sell the flop on the other end and Holiday hits a wide open jumper.
Crowd goes nuts when Gibson checks in.
Right now every Bulls fan on the planet (with one possible exception) is thinking the same thing. Re-sign Taj Gibson.
First half highlights.
Omer's inside defense is just outstanding tonight.
First he blocks a shot on the defensive end.
Then he dunks on the offensive end.
The he scares Holiday into missing a dunk on the defensive end.
68-41 Bulls with less than 10 minutes left in the game.
Boozer is really rolling. He scores the last four points of the quarter to put the Bulls up 57-48 through three quarters. People have been saying Deng and Boozer need to step up and today they have. Boozer has 17 points, 7 boards and 5 assists. Deng has 15 points and 6 boards.
Deng is also playing Iguodala very well. Iggy is 4-15 from the field. The one armed man is outplaying the one footed man.
Meanwhile they are saying that Taj will return in the fourth quarter.
Now Gibson is writhing around holding his ankle and then he gets up and he's limping. It's just insane. How many injuries can a team sustain?
This game needs to be shot, like a damaged horse.— Dan Bernstein (@dan_bernstein) May 9, 2012
CJ Watson is now 11 of 43 for the postseason.
Turner with another turnover. The fans are really starting to get into it now. There was almost a "dread" whenf the game started but fans are starting to believe. Then Watson returns the favor and commmits an offensive foul of his own.
Fans boo the cal but it was good.
Bulls get a great block by Deng, but they aren't able to get it back. The Boozer fouls Hawes to send him to the line. Hawes misses both shots and the Bulls have the ball and a 51-42 lead.
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