(SportsNetwork.com) – The Chicago Bulls have been playing some great
basketball and will try to continue their form Friday night when they meet the
Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center.
The Bulls have won three straight since the home overtime loss to the
Cleveland Cavaliers one week ago. They’ve missed All-Stars Derrick Rose and
Joakim Noah for stretches, but have emerged atop the Central Division.
Chicago’s third consecutive victory came Wednesday with a 95-86 road win over
the Milwaukee Bucks.
Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson were dominant against a thin Milwaukee Bucks
frontline on Wednesday, combining for 45 points and 24 rebounds. Gasol and
Gibson more than made up for the absence of Noah, who missed his second
straight game with an illness. Gasol had 22 points and 14 rebounds while
Gibson tallied a game-high 23 points with 10 boards.
Derrick Rose returned after missing two games with two sprained ankles and
donated 13 points with seven assists, while Jimmy Butler contributed 14
points, seven helpers and four steals in Chicago’s victory.
“This is the one we needed,” said Rose. “Coming in here, playing against this
team that can put up points on you very quick with the talent they have. They
play very freely … It really was a challenge for us.”
The Bulls, who opened 3-0 on the road for the first time since the 1996-97
season, may be without Noah again on Friday. He is listed as doubtful.
The Sixers have been dreadful early in the 2014-15 campaign, but that was to
They rank 28th in the NBA in scoring at 90.0 ppg and allow 101.0 ppg. The
minus-11 differential is the second-worst in the NBA behind the also 0-5 Los
The Sixers found a new, depressing way to lose on Wednesday night. After a
spirited affair with the fellow 0-4 Orlando Magic, Tobias Harris made an off-
balance jumper from just inside the 3-point line before the buzzer. That gave
Orlando the 91-89 victory and sent Philly to 0-5 for the first time since the
“He made a heck of a shot. We were there,” said coach Brett Brown. “For our
young guys, it highlights there is no margin for error. To be able to take
this experience and be able to teach out of it, you have to go back to
Tony Wroten continued his hot start with 27 points to lead the Sixers, who
finally played a close game after losing their first four by an average of
13.25 points. Brandon Davies added 20 points and K.J. McDaniels had 12 off the
Nerlens Noel, who missed all of last season with a knee injury he suffered as
a freshman at Kentucky, rolled his ankle under the basket and limped off under
his own power. The team announced soon after that the ankle was sprained.
“I thought he was going to practice today,” Brown said after practice on
Thursday. “He had to pull out of some early drills, and we don’t expect him to
The Bulls took three of four from the Sixers last season and are 8-1 in the
last nine in this series. Chicago has won three of its last four in the City
of Brotherly Love.