The Chicago Bulls stepped up on the verge of elimination Tuesday, turning in a stifling defensive effort to stay alive in the series. With Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah out, Luol Deng finally delivered an All-Star performance, burying key 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and finishing with a game-high 24 points as the Bulls pulled to within 3-2 in the series. The Philadelphia 76ers still have the advantage and will try to close it out at home in Game 6.
Bulls 76ers Betting
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, May 10, 2012
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
TV: 7 p.m. ET, CSCH (Chicago), CSN (Philadelphia), NBATV
Chicago Bulls: Deng averaged eight points in the first three games without Rose but finally broke out in Game 5, becoming the offensive force that Chicago needed in the fourth quarter. Carlos Boozer was strong on the inside, scoring 12 of his 19 points in the third quarter to keep the Bulls clear and adding 13 rebounds. Chicago had another scary moment in the third quarter of Game 5, when Taj Gibson rolled his ankle and had to be taken to the locker room. The reserve forward returned in the fourth and is expected to play in Game 6. The Bulls are hoping to avoid becoming the fifth No. 1 seed to lose in the first round to a No. 8 seed.
Philadelphia 76ers: Philadelphia has not shot the ball well in any of the last three games but managed to pull out the first two thanks to some good execution down the stretch from Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala. The Bulls managed to slow those two on Tuesday, holding them to a combined 9 for 36 from the field. The 76ers scored just 26 points in the first half – the lowest half in franchise playoff history during the shot clock era. Spencer Hawes, who went over 20 points in Games 3 and 4, was held to 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting in Game 5 and was the focus of intense pressure by Boozer, Gibson and Omer Asik. Hawes ended up with a scratch on the left side of face running from his eye to his lip.
1. Noah is questionable for Game 6.
2. The Bulls gave swingman Ronnie Brewer a series-high 29 minutes off the bench on Tuesday as a defensive stopper on Holiday, Iguodala and Evan Turner.
3. Philadelphia F Thaddeus Young, who averaged 12.8 points in the regular season, was held scoreless on Tuesday and has not reached double figures in any of the last four games.
PREDICTION: 76ers 82, Bulls 79. CLICK HERE for 500 Handicappers Package FOR 5$