Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/6/12

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia 76ers guard Jrue Holiday missed 13 of his first 14 shots in Game 4 of his team's NBA Eastern Conference first-round playoff series against the shorthanded Chicago Bulls on Sunday afternoon.

But when the game was on the line, he was right on target.

Holiday scored 10 of his 20 points in the final 5:03, including two critical 3-pointers, as the Sixers beat Chicago 89-82 to push the top-seeded Bulls to the brink of elimination.

Spencer Hawes scored 22 points and Andre Iguodala had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the No. 8 Sixers, who hold a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven set, with Game 5 scheduled for Tuesday night in Chicago.

The Bulls, without star guard Derrick Rose (knee) and starting center Joakim Noah (ankle), led by six in the third quarter and were within one, at 74-73, after a basket by Taj Gibson with 4:33 left in the game.

Holiday, who finished 7-for-23 from the floor, connected from beyond the arc on the Sixers' next two possessions to give them an 80-73 lead.

"Once you start missing shots, you think, 'Man, I shouldn't shoot anymore,' " he said. "My coach gave me confidence, and my teammates gave me confidence to keep on shooting those open shots."

His coach is Doug Collins, who said he had "no conscience" about shooting when he played for the Sixers in the 1970s.

"That's the one thing I've tried to impart with our team: If you've got a shot, you've got to take it," Collins said. "Jrue was 0-for-the-world, and he hits two huge 3s. That's the kind of growth and maturity I love to see from my young guys: Don't fear the consequences. If you miss, you miss."

Chicago sliced the deficit to two on two occasions after Holiday's barrage, the last time at 82-80 with 1:47 remaining. But Holiday made a pair of free throws with 51.5 seconds to play, and Iguodala did the same with 26.6 seconds remaining.

After a basket by Luol Deng, Evan Turner made a foul shot, and Jodie Meeks nailed two with 10.6 seconds left.

Hawes shot 9-for-11 in the game, but the Sixers made just 39.2 percent from the floor as a team. They were, however, 22-for-31 at the foul line, while Chicago was 11-for-14.

"Quite frankly, I thought that we had some good, hard drives where we didn't get calls," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "Sometimes that's just the way it goes, and when that happens you just have to go harder, I guess."

Carlos Boozer had 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulls. C.J. Watson scored 17 points, and Gibson finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

"Holiday, he's tough," Thibodeau said. "I thought we played him well, and Holiday has the ability to make tough shots. He's clever with the dribble and you have to rely on your team defense. You have to finish your defense."

And the game. The Bulls, who frittered away a 14-point lead in losing Game 3, were outscored 25-19 in Sunday's final period.

Now the Sixers will try to end Chicago's season.

"The next game has to be as important to us as it is the Bulls," Collins said. "The closeout game is the hardest to win in sports."

Holiday said, "We have to treat it like it's Game 7."

Hawes scored eight points as the Sixers broke out to an 18-8 lead early in the game. But the Bulls rallied behind Gibson, taking their first lead at 42-41 late in the first half.

Hawes then buried a 3-pointer from the right corner with five seconds left in the period, giving the Sixers a 44-42 halftime lead. Hawes finished the half with 17 points on 7-for-8 shooting.

Gibson collected 12 points in the first half, including Chicago's first 10 of the second quarter. He also grabbed eight rebounds.

The Bulls' defense was also stellar, limiting the Sixers to 31.8 percent shooting in the second quarter and 37 percent shooting in the half. Holiday, 1-for-13 in the first half, combined with Turner and the Sixers' other top guard, Lou Williams, to shoot 4-for-28 in the first two quarters.

NOTES: Thibodeau pronounced Noah "day-to-day" with his ankle injury. ... The Bulls are 3-7 in afternoon games this year. ... Iguodala has been bothered by a strained left Achilles. "I don't think he's great," Collins said, "but as long as he can go out and do the job he's doing on Deng, we sure appreciate that." Deng scored 11 points on 5-for-11 shooting Sunday. ... Williams, who bruised his tailbone in a hard fall late in Game 3, shot 2-for-10 and scored seven points. ... Boxer Bernard Hopkins, a Philadelphia native, was part of the capacity crowd, as was basketball Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes.

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