76ers-Bulls Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 01, 2012
After struggling offensively to start the season, the Philadelphia 76ers appear to have found their groove. The 76ers, however, might find the going a little tougher on Saturday night when they visit defensive-minded Chicago in the teams' first meeting since Philadelphia upset the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs. The 76ers (10-6) continued to get a boost from their improving offense on Friday night when they eclipsed 100 points for the fifth time in six games in a 104-98 victory at Charlotte. Philadelphia, which won its third straight, has averaged 101.0 points while shooting 46.4 percent -- including 38.7 percent shooting from 3-point range -- over its last six games. The current stretch is quite a contrast from the team's tough times in the first four games of the season, when it averaged 83.3 points with a 38.3 shooting percentage. "I was never really worried,'' guard Jason Richardson said. "I knew we had guys that could score and I just thought we were going through a (cold) streak.'' Richardson, who missed almost five full games early in November with an ankle sprain, hit four 3-pointers and scored 14 of his season-high 22 points in the fourth quarter Friday. Evan Turner had another big game, scoring 25 points on 10 of 15 shooting for his career-best eighth straight game in double figures. Turner has averaged 22.3 points on 56.1 percent shooting over his last four games. He averaged 11.7 points against the Bulls in the playoffs after famously saying he'd rather face Chicago than Miami in the opening round. Jrue Holiday had 13 points and a career-high 15 assists Friday for Philadelphia, which shot a season-best 51.2 percent from the field. Holiday averaged 18.2 points in the six-game playoff series against Chicago. While the 76ers look for their seventh win in nine games, they'll have to find a way to keep things rolling against one of the toughest defensive teams in the league. The Bulls (7-7) rank fourth in the NBA in scoring defense at 92.3 points per game and are also among the top 10 in defensive field-goal percentage at 43.4. Chicago will try for its third win in four games after holding Dallas to season lows in points and field-goal percentage (34.6) in a 101-78 victory Wednesday. Coach Tom Thibodeau, though, was quick to point out the effort came against the short-handed Mavericks. "Here's the thing - we caught a break,'' Thibodeau said. "They're missing (Darren) Collison and Dirk (Nowitzki) and they played last night. And (O.J.) Mayo is dinged up with an ankle injury.'' Chicago still recovered from blowing a 27-point lead in a 93-92 loss to Milwaukee two days earlier as Luol Deng led five players in double figures with 22 points. Nate Robinson had 14 points and a game-high six assists and Jimmy Butler scored a career-high 13 off the bench. The Bulls' bench, which scored 10 points against the Bucks and ranks near the bottom of the Eastern Conference at 29.4 per game, bounced back to score a season-high 50. "We understand we have a long season," said reserve Taj Gibson, who had eight points. "There's going to be a lot of bumps in the road, but we're sticking together.'' The Bulls' biggest problem in the playoff series against Philadelphia - aside from losing Derrick Rose - was failing to create turnovers. The 76ers gave it away just 9.8 times per game compared to Chicago's 14.3. Philadelphia's 12.7 turnovers per game this season are the league's second-fewest.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Kevin Durant has...RUSSELL MANIA!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eagles rookie nixes anthem protest after talking to agent

Report: Romo has no ligament damage, to resume training soon

Michael Phelps to be honored with unique Wheaties box

Woman suing Brewers after being struck by foul ball

Report: ‘Strong chance’ J.J. Watt will play in Week 1

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Broncos name Trevor Siemian their Week 1 starter

Report: Jets fielding calls for Geno Smith

Report: Bryan Stork fails physical, rights revert to Pats

Eric Berry signs franchise tender, returns to Chiefs

Brandon Jennings takes swipe at Reggie Miller's career

Report: Kaepernick facing ‘uphill battle’ to make roster

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Six NFL quarterbacks the Cowboys must consider

Dwight Howard trying new way to improve free throw shooting

Eight players who have stepped up in NFL preseason so far

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker