Unstoppa-Bulls? Chicago wins sixth straight
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 19, 2017 11:45 AM
Nikola Mirotic NBA file photo
By Jay Cohen, Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Nikola Mirotic and Kris Dunn each scored 22 points, and the Chicago Bulls topped the Philadelphia 76ers 117-115 on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) for their sixth consecutive victory.
Mirotic and Dunn each hit huge shots down the stretch as Chicago rallied past Philadelphia with a big finish in the fourth quarter. Mirotic also grabbed 13 rebounds, helping the Bulls remain unbeaten since he returned on Dec. 8 (Dec. 9, PHL time) after missing the start of the season with facial fractures after he got into a fight with teammate Bobby Portis during practice.
Seven players scored in double figures for Chicago. Justin Holiday scored all 20 of his points in the first half, and Portis finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Ben Simmons had 19 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for the Sixers, who lost for the sixth time in seven games. Dario Saric scored 20 of his 27 points in the second half.
Philadelphia played without Joel Embiid, who rested on the first night of back-to-back games for the Sixers. The seven-foot center, who scored 34 points in Friday night's triple-overtime loss to Oklahoma City, did not make the trip to Chicago.
But Simmons and Saric helped Philadelphia get in position to stop Chicago's win streak in the fourth quarter, up 107-99 with 3:49 left. The Bulls responded with one of the best stretches of their suddenly interesting season.
Lauri Markkanen made a three-pointer, Mirotic blocked Saric's shot on the other end and Dunn made a tying three-pointer with 2:46 left — part of a 15-2 spurt for Chicago. Dunn's jumper made it 114-109 with 1:05 remaining.
Simmons had a chance to tie it in the final seconds, but missed wildly and Mirotic grabbed the rebound.
Richaun Holmes had 14 points and seven rebounds for Philadelphia, which went 14-for-33 from three-point range. J.J. Redick finished with 12 points.
Holiday got hot at the end of the second quarter, scoring 15 points in the final 4:38 of the first half. The scoring spree began with consecutive triples and also included a four-point play and an impressive reverse jam, helping Chicago to a 67-59 lead at the break.
76ers: T.J. McConnell had 11 points, six rebounds and five assists. ... Philadelphia outrebounded Chicago 47-39.
Bulls: Markkanen returned to the starting lineup after missing three straight games due to back spasms. The rookie missed his first five shots and finished with 10 points on 4-for-11 shooting. ... Mirotic spun Saric around late in the first quarter and then drained a three-pointer right over him. Mirotic grinned as he ran up the court and the Bulls' bench celebrated.
Sixers: Host Sacramento on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). The Kings have dropped 3-of-4.
Bulls: Host Orlando on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). The Bulls beat the Magic 105-83 in Orlando in their first matchup of the season on Nov. 3 (Nov. 4, PHL time).