Sixers Cruise over the Bulls
The Philadelphia 76ers have finally confirmed themselves as a rising threat in the east, winning over the Chicago Bulls 98-82 on Wednesday night.
Andre Iguodala played a major role, helping the Sixers score 19 points and grab nine rebounds, outplaying Derrrick Rose of the Bulls. In fact, Iguodala managed to stuff a whole month’s wroth of video highlights into a single game, with one-handed dunks, 3-pointers, and around-the-back passes, resulting in the Sixers leading the Eastern Conference. In fact, his plays have led the team to a 20-point lead over the Bulls by the time the third quarter rolled to a close.
With an audience of over 18,000 fans, the confidence for Philadelphia is soaring to new heights, along with the rising number of audience at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Sixers (16-6) had Thaddeus Young scoring 19 points, and Lavoy Allen and Lou Williams 14 points each, completing the bench.
A soft schedule had had the Sixers racing to their best beginning in close to ten years, with absolutely zero padding on their record this week. On Monday, they beat Orlando, and following this taming of the Bulls, they are going for a sweep versus Miami on Friday.
Meanwhile, for the Bulls, Rose scored 18 points, while C.J. Watson had 20.
Having been a long-time scapegoat with his $80 million contract on a relatively mediocre team, a standing ovation met Iguodala as he walked off the court following a late-third quarter substitution.
The player scored nine points during the third quarter, with his team holding the Bulls to 11 points total for the quarter. The Bulls happened to miss 13 out of 16 shots during that quarter, with Rose going 1 for 5 from the floor.
Throughout the game, there were times when Iguodala played as if it was a pickup game, making stylish dunks to entertain the boisterous crowd. A fastbreak grabbed the audience’s collective wow, with his taking the ball behind his back and making a scoop pass towards Jrue Holiday, who took it for a jumper and gave the Sixers a 58-46 lead.
Towards the later part of the third quarter, consecutive jumpers were hit by Williams and Allen, while Holiday cleaned it up with a 3-pointer to bring the Sixers up to a surprising 75-55 lead.
Doug Collins, Sixers coach, reprimanded the team following their victory over Magic, for apparently allowing their big lead to sizzle down to a soft ending. This time, the Bulls managed to pull within 12 points, although Young stopped any late spurt using two straight baskets, pushing the lead back to 15.
This was the Sixers’ fourth consecutive win, improving to 12-2.
The Bulls went into the game with Richard Hamilton and Luol Deng out injured, on the right thigh and left wrist respectively.
Apparently, the Sixers caught the Bulls off guard in the early part of the game thanks to their frantic defense. While technicals tend to encourage the opponent, the Bulls did not manage to pull back the rest of the second half, ending with a disappointing loss.