Bulls Unable To Overcome Injury Issues As Sixers Advance To Second Round

The Philadelphia 76ers proved to be too much for the injury-riddled Chicago Bulls as they closed out the series on Thursday night. The Sixers will play the Boston Celtics in the second round.

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76ers-Bulls Final Score: Andre Iguodala Wins Game, Series With Last-Second Free Throws

Tragedy for the Bulls: Up three with under 30 seconds to go, Chicago snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and saw themselves get knocked out by the No. 8-seeded Sixers.

C.J. Watson had the ball after a Thaddeus Young layup made it a one-point game. He streaked across halfcourt and found himself in space. He took some contact, but no whistle blew. Rather than dribble until someone fouled him, Watson dumped the ball off to Omer Asik. Watson is an 80-percent free throw shooter. Asik is a 48-percent free throw shooter. Asik had looked the hero with his defense and a dunk to put the Bulls up three, but he bricked the pair, and Andre Iguodala drove the length of the court until Asik fouled him, giving him the chance to hit two free throws for the win.

Carlos Boozer kind of says it all:

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Earlier, things had looked bleak for the Bulls, who missed their first five field goals of the second half and soon found themselves down 12. Then, their defense began to dominate. Joakim Noah might have been out, but the Bulls still boasted a long front line with Asik, Taj Gibson and Luol Deng. This bunch kept the Sixers from penetrating, forcing guys like Louis Williams, Jrue Holiday and Spencer Hawes -- yes Spencer Hawes -- into taking ugly threes or making them do things like this:

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That held the Sixers to only 15 third quarter points. Plus, Boozer -- who was a horrendous 1-for-11 -- stayed on the bench while Richard Hamilton filled it up. But Iguodala knocked down some bailout jumpers and willed the Sixers back into the game. Then, that stuff with Asik happened, and now the series is over.

This is brutal for Bulls fans. To go from being the best team in the NBA to losing your star player to a heart-rending elimination in two weeks is more than one should have to handle.

Important GIF's and videos:

Watson's pivotal mistake

Referee: SIKE!

Elton Brand doesn't know goaltending rules

Reactions from our team bloggers:

For all news and information regarding the Chicago Bulls, please visit Blog a Bull or check out SB Nation Chicago. For updates and perspective on the Philadelphia 76ers, head on over to Liberty Ballers or stop by SB Nation Philadelphia.

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Joakim Noah Injury Update: Bulls' Center A Game-Time Decision For Game 6 Vs. 76ers

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah remains a game-time decision with an ankle injury for Game 6 of the Bulls' 2012 NBA Playoffs first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said, according to KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. Noah has not played since injuring the foot in Game 4.

Noah himself declined to comment to reporters. He was limping around and did not participate in the shoot-around.

Noah suffered the injury rolling over a 76ers player's foot in Game 3, a Bulls' loss. He stayed in the game, but re-aggravated the injury and had to come out. The Bulls trail 3-2 in the series after taking Game 5 in Chicago.

The good news for the Bulls is that forward Taj Gibson will play in Game 6, he said. He got hurt midway through Game 5.

For all news and information regarding the Chicago Bulls, please visit Blog a Bull or check out SB Nation Chicago. For updates and perspective on the Philadelphia 76ers, head on over to Liberty Ballers or stop by SB Nation Philadelphia.

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Bulls Vs. 76ers, NBA Playoffs 2012 Game 5 Final Score: Chicago Survives Following 77-69 Victory

The Chicago Bulls still have the breath of life in them during the 2012 NBA Playoffs following a 77-69 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. The Bulls are now one game away from tying this series at three games apiece, but they will need to do that in Philadelphia on Thursday.

Luol Deng turned in a strong effort, hitting mid- to long-range shots throughout the second half. When the final buzzer went off, Deng had a game-high 24 points, eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks. He was 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, sinking all but one of the team's threes. Carlos Boozer added 19 points and 13 rebounds. No other scorer reached double digits, but Taj Gibson was solid with eight points and seven rebounds. He overcame a rolled ankle and played on adrenaline during the final quarter.

The Sixers had a terrible night shooting the ball, sinking just 32.1 percent of their shots. Had that shooting improved at some point, it would have gone a long way in helping the free throw advantage the team had. The Sixers went 17-of-24 from the line while the Bulls were just 4-of-11. Spencer Hawes put in a double-double of 11 points and 14 rebounds. Jrue Holiday had a team-high 16 points.

Without Derrick Rose, the Bulls finally picked up a victory. Can they make it two on Thursday?

For all news and information regarding the Chicago Bulls, please visit Blog a Bull or check out SB Nation Chicago. For updates and perspective on the Philadelphia 76ers, head on over to Liberty Ballers or stop by SB Nation Philadelphia.

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76ers Vs. Bulls, NBA Playoffs 2012 Game 4 Final Score: Philly Wins 89-82

The Philadelphia 76ers took a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Chicago Bulls with an 89-82 win Sunday. It was the 76ers' third straight win in the series and the first time the Bulls have lost three straight games all season.

Spencer Hawes led Philadelphia with 22 points while Andre Iguodala recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Jrue Holiday was huge for the 76ers late in the game, scoring 16 of his 20 points in the second half. Holiday scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, helping Philadelphia put the game away.

Carlos Boozer led all scorers with 23 points while C.J. Watson scored 17 in the second half to keep the Bulls close. Chicago played without Joakim Noah who injured his ankle in Game 3. The Bulls will try to stave off elimination as the series moves back to Chicago for game five Tuesday.

For all news and information regarding the Chicago Bulls, please visit Blog a Bull or head on over to SB Nation Chicago. For updates and perspective on the Philadelphia 76ers, check out Liberty Ballers or stop by SB Nation Philadelphia. For complete coverage of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.

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Now Are The Bulls Totally Screwed?

The Bulls may have lost Joakim Noah to a nasty ankle injury. Can we finally offer up a eulogy or is there still some life left?

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Joakim Noah Injury: X-Rays Reportedly Negative, But Fracture Still Feared

X-rays on Joakim Noah's turned left ankle came out negative after the Chicago Bulls' Game 3 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, reports K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. But two sources cited by Johnson indicate that the team still fears that the center may have suffered a fracture in the freak play.

Johnson reports that Noah left the Wells Fargo Center in Philly on crutches, wearing an air cast. The Bulls' Game 4 against the Sixers is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

The Bulls, of course, are already without their All-NBA point guard Derrick Rose. Luol Deng is also struggling through a torn wrist ligament. Losing Noah or playing him at a severely damaged capacity would cross Chicago's top three players off the team's healthy list. The Bulls are down 2-1 in the series after Friday's loss.

Noah had a rare healthy season for Chicago, missing just two games. He missed a combined 54 games over the previous two seasons.

For more on the Bulls, visit Blog-a-Bull and SB Nation Chicago.

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76ers Vs. Bulls, NBA Playoffs 2012 Game 3 Final Score: Philly Pulls Off 79-74 Win

The Philadelphia 76ers' offense looked anemic through the first three quarters of Game 3, but they came alive in the fourth quarter, doubling up the Chicago Bulls to come back from 10 points down and winning 79-74.

Spencer Hawes was the unlikely hero, hitting three big shots in the fourth quarter as well as two big free throws. He was the Sixers' best performer, finishing the game with 21 points and nine rebounds. Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday were also effective, getting to the free throw line multiple times in the fourth quarter.

The Bulls haven't exactly been potent offensively at any point in the series and had just 60 points through three quarters, but that was still good enough for a nine-point lead heading to the fourth. Their offense completely dried up in the fourth quarter, however, as they managed just 14 points. Carlos Boozer contributed a "Carlos Boozer Hat Trick" by reaching double-digit tallies in points, rebounds, and negative net points. He had 18 points, 10 rebounds and was minus-11 on the night.

Philadelphia now leads the series 2-1 and can take total control with another win in Game 4 on their home court.

For more on the Bulls, visit Blog-a-Bull and SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Sixers, please visit Liberty Ballers and SB Nation Philly.

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Bulls Vs. 76ers, NBA Playoffs 2012 Game 2: Final Score, Philly Wins 109-92 With Stellar Performance

Joakim Noah had a fantastic first half for the Chicago Bulls while backup point guards C.J. Watson and John Lucas chipped in with great contributions, but things fell apart for the Bulls in the second half on both ends of the floor. They struggled defensively, turned the ball over and couldn't buy a basket in the third quarter, where they were outscored by the Philadelphia 76ers 36-14. After that, they coasted through the fourth quarter en route to a 109-92 win.

Without Derrick Rose to defend them, Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams looked virtually unopposed for parts of Game 2. Holiday scored 26 points, while Williams scored 20 off the bench. Evan Turner also had a big game for the Sixers, scoring 19 points after being added to the starting lineup.

Noah and Lucas didn't fall off significantly in the second half, but they got very little help. Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng both needed to pick up the scoring load in Rose's absence and failed to do so. Deng scored eight points and Boozer scored nine.

Philadelphia heads home with a 1-1 road split in Chicago, and on the basis of this performance by the Bulls, the 76ers might have just become favorites to take the series.

For more on the Bulls, visit Blog-a-Bull and SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Sixers, please visit Liberty Ballers and SB Nation Philly.

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Bulls Vs. 76ers, NBA Playoffs 2012: Chicago Smokes Philly In Game 1, But Watch Derrick Rose Limp Off

The Chicago Bulls smothered the Philadelphia 76ers on both ends in Game 1 of their 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, and came out with a 103-91 victory. Chicago's lead got as high as 20 in the fourth quarter. Derrick Rose led the way with 23 points, 9 assists and 9 rebounds in his latest return to action, but all of that was forgotten with 90 seconds left. Rose crumpled to the floor after appearing to land wrong on dribble penetration, and had to be helped off of the court after a stop in action.

Joakim Noah added 12 points and 13 rebounds, and the supporting cast contributed its typically brilliant defense as Philadelphia shot just 39.8 percent from the floor.

Rose missed some shots, but kept full control of the game at all times. Chicago led by 11 at the half, and the game was never in question in the fourth. Philadelphia's offense looked completely overmatched against the elite Bulls defense; there was nothing that the Sixers could reliably do to produce points. Jrue Holiday had a rough game on that end, shooting 7-18 from the floor with more turnovers (three) than assists (two). Evan Turner continued to serve as a playmaker off the bench, but fell out of control too often late, leading to bad shots, broken plays and a couple of turnovers.

For more on the Bulls, visit Blog-a-Bull and SB Nation Chicago.For more on the Sixers, please visit Liberty Ballers and SB Nation Philly. For full coverage of the series, follow our Bulls vs. Sixers StoryStream.

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Derrick Rose Injury: Bulls Star Hurts Knee In Closing Moments Of Game 1 Vs. Sixers

Derrick Rose, who has struggled with injury all season, appeared to injure his left knee with less than 90 seconds left in the Chicago Bulls' Game 1 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday. The Bulls led by 12 at the time, and play had just resumed after a timeout, which would have given Tom Thibodeau an opportunity to replace his starters.

Rose walked off the court slowly with assistance after receiving attention from the Bulls' medical crew. He received MVP chants and an ovation as he limped off.

Rose was driving to the bucket when he landed poorly and careened to the floor. There did not appear to be contact on the play -- Rose may have just twisted poorly in the air and landed wrong. Regardless, while the Bulls have played well without Rose this season, losing him would be awful for their title hopes.

For more on the Bulls, visit Blog-a-Bull and SB Nation Chicago.

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