Two Philadelphia rookies played well, both scoring their career highs for points.
Dario Saric had 32 points, his 22nd game in double digits, the most for a rookie this season. Shawn Long, in just his 9th game, had 18 points and seven rebounds.
The Chicago Bulls were just outplayed by a hungrier team, and if nothing else, the 76ers are a scrappy, hungry team. It played without Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor, their highly touted big men.
Still Philly was able to just outplay the Bulls in a critical loss at the United Center. Chicago trailed at one point 81-55 and the home crowd let the Bulls have it. The Bulls woke up but it was too late to really do anything about it. They cut the lead to ten, but Saric hit a three to stop the Bulls rally in the fourth quarter.
Jimmy Butler had 36 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds. Forward Bobby Portis had 17 points and 11 boards. and Nikola Mirotic had 15 points. Chicago shot just 41% from the field and was out-rebounded 46-39. The Bulls had a better fourth quarter, but the game was essentially over.
With just nine games to play, the Bulls chances of making the post-season are fading. They are tied with Detroit with 34-39 records for 9th place and trail the Miami Heat by a game and a half for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference.
Jimmy Butler had a good game, and expended a lot of effort on the court. He just didn’t have anyone else really step up. Forward Nikola Mirotic has been inconsistent all season. Denzel Valentine is a rookie and had 9 points. Guard Anthony Morrow, came off the bench to score 10 points for Chicago, in his first concerted effort as a Bull.