The Chicago Bulls finished their road trip last night with a win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Bulls got off to a very slow start against Philly, falling behind after one quarter 34-24. That lead quickly grew to as large as 15 in the first few minutes of the second quarter, but by the half Chicago had rallied and was only down three.
The Bulls came out shooting in the third and blasted the Sixers 31-11. New head coach Vinny Del Negro must have given a pretty powerful halftime pep talk.
One could expect the Bulls to be exhausted after this two-week road trip, but they played like a fresh, young, re-energized team poised for a road victory.
Drew Gooden played one of his best games for Chicago, dropping 20 points on the Sixers. He also had 12 rebounds and three assists.
Ben Gordon also had a solid night for the Bulls. He put up 21 points, six rebounds, and four assists.
Derrick Rose put in 18 points and recorded 10 assists for a double-double. He also had five rebounds. Rose had a magnificent slam dunk, a block, and an ankle-breaking move to the basket that landed the opposing player flat on his butt.
Stellar ball movement and aggressive defensive play got the Bulls back into the game after falling behind early. The Bulls started playing full court defense and pressured the ball more getting steals and forcing turnovers.
Tyrus Thomas played 25 minutes of solid basketball. He had eight points, four rebounds, and one steal. If Thomas can keep this pace, expect to see more of him in next few games.
Larry Hughes exploded from downtown, hitting four of six from behind the line. He also hit six of 10 field goals. Hughes had 16 points in his 25 minutes of play.
The final score was Chicago 103, Philadelphia 92.
Overall Chicago looked like a team that is going to go far. They fell behind early, but came back and played solid ball for the next three quarters to defeat the Sixers.
Not to take anything away from Elton Brand, who had a terrific game for the Sixers, but his team let him down and they were unable to come up with a win on their home court.
The Bulls and Sixers get to rematch on Tuesday at the United Center.
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