Bull Rush: Gordon leads Chicago to rout over Philly
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Ben Gordon scored 12 of his game-high 21 points
in the opening quarter, as the Chicago Bulls blasted the Philadelphia 76ers,
117-84, in the final game for both teams leading to the All-Star break.
Kirk Hinrich added 18 points for the Bulls, who didn’t trail the entire way
and coasted to their second victory in three contests. Chicago, which placed
six players in double figures, continues to occupy the ninth spot in the East
and is within two games of Philadelphia for the final playoff spot in the
Allen Iverson had 16 of his team-high 18 points in the first half for the
Sixers, who fell behind by 16 after the opening period and lost for the fourth
time in five games. The Sixers, who were coming off an emotional 103-100 home
overtime win over San Antonio on Wednesday, also got 14 points and seven
rebounds from Chris Webber and 13 points from John Salmons. However,
Philadelphia shot 34.2 percent from the field, compared to 52.3 percent for
Darius Songaila’s jumper capped six straight points by the Bulls for an 11-4
lead. Two Iverson free throws had the Sixers within 17-12, but Chicago started
to pull away with an ensuing 12-2 run, finished by Gordon’s 14-foot jumper.
The Bulls led 38-22 after one quarter, during which Chicago shot 14-of-25 from
the field, while holding the Sixers to 5-of-15.
An 8-2 run to start the second initially blew the game open. Hinrich’s three-
point play ended the rally, but the Sixers used a late push in the second to
draw within 57-46 at the half.
Philadelphia crawled within nine twice early in the third, the last time at
59-50 following a jumper from Webber. However, the Bulls pounded their way to
a 16-0 run over a 4:16 span. Gordon had nine of those points, including a
jumper to end the burst with 6:32 left that boosted the Bulls to a 75-50
Chicago’s lead was 30 points, 92-62, at the end of the third, and the Bulls’
largest advantage was 35, at 115-80 on a jumper by Mike Sweetney with 1:50
Malik Allen added a season-high 16 points and Andres Nocioni also scored 16
for the Bulls. Luol Deng had 12 points, while Sweetney had 10 points and 12
The Bulls head into the All-Star break with a 23-29 record, while the Sixers
are 25-27…Chicago improved to 11-14 at the United Center, while Philadelphia
fell to 9-16 on the road…Chicago has won three straight after losing the
last five meetings…The 38 first-quarter points by the Bulls were the most by
the team in the opening period this season…Their 117 points are the second-
most for Chicago. The Bulls beat Boston at the United Center, 118-86, on
December 17…Tyson Chandler had 11 boards for the Bulls, who crushed the
Sixers, 53-30, on the glass…Philadelphia missed all nine of its three-point
attempts, while the Bulls were 7-of-15 on long distance shots.