CHICAGO – Joakim Noah had 23 points, 21 rebounds and a career-high 11 blocks for his third career triple-double and the Bulls ended a two-game losing streak with a 93-82 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.
Carlos Boozer added 21 points and 12 rebounds while Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng had 15 and 12 points, respectively, as the Bulls completed a three-game regular season series sweep.
Noah tied the Bulls record for blocks in a regulation game, previously set by Artis Gilmore in 1977.
Jrue Holiday paced the Sixers with 22 points, Spencer Hawes added 20 points and 15 rebounds while Evan Turner had 12 points.
The loss was Philadelphia’s season-high seventh in a row.
The Sixers rallied from a 16-point third-quarter deficit to get within four points at 75-71 on Hawes’ dunk.
But Nate Robinson hit a jumper and added a 3-pointer after a Noah block – his ninth of the game – to push the Bull’ lead to 80-71.
Noah added a 3-point play with 4:32 to play to restore a double-digit lead at 83-71. Philadelphia never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Boozer opened with eight points and Deng added six as the Bulls had a 19-16 first-quarter lead less than nine minutes into the game. Boozer and Turner each had 10 as the Bulls led 23-22 by the close of the quarter. Early in the second quarter, Noah had back-to-back inside scores, hit a free throw and forced a turnover in a 55-second span as the Bulls went ahead 30-26.Hinrich fired a perfect pass to Deng late in the quarter and the Bulls forward converted a 3-point play with 3.4 seconds left as the Bulls opened a 45-39 halftime lead. Holiday had seven points in the quarter and closed the half with a game-high 13 points. Hinrich scored his first points of the game early in the third quarter with a pair of jumpers as the Bulls maintained an eight-point lead. The Bulls opened an 11-point lead as Noah’s 3-point play that gave the Bulls a 53-42 lead.
The Bulls missed eight straight 3-point tries before Hinrich’s long-distance shot gave them a 64-48 lead.
The Sixers found their shooting touch and trimmed the deficit to 68-62 on two Hawes’ free throws with 50 seconds left.
NOTES: Bulls star Derrick Rose still hasn’t said when he’ll come back and Philadelphia coach Doug Collins said the Bulls were proceeding correctly with Rose’s slow return. “The Chicago Bulls have a tremendous investment in Derrick Rose, you want to make sure this young guy is going to be ready to go. ... With both teams struggling recently, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said it was important to maintain continuity even if there’s a temptation to shake things up. “I think the preparation part is very, very important,” he said.
I don’t think you can allow that to slip at all.”
Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich made his second straight appearance since missing three games with a right elbow injury. ... Bulls guard Richard Hamilton sat out Thursday’s game with back spasms and Marco Belinelli started in his place.