THE FACTS: In thrilling back-and-forth game, the host Chicago Bulls finally pulled away for a 93-88 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday night. The victory gave the Bulls their first two-game winning streak since the first two games of the season. Luol Deng had 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while Richard Hamilton scored 15 points in 23 minutes for the Bulls. Jrue Holiday had 23 points and Thaddeus Young had 22 for the Sixers.
The lead changed hands eight times over the night, but the Bulls (8-7) led the entire fourth quarter. However, their lead never got more than eight points, and was never more than six through the final six minutes of the final period.
QUOTABLE: "They are a tough team to defend. They've got guys who play to the end of the shot clock as well as anybody in the league."
-- Philadelphia coach Doug Collins on Chicago
THE STAT: The Bulls got double-doubles from both Carlos Boozer (12 points, 12 rebounds) and Joakim Noah (12 points, 13 rebounds). Taj Gibson added 11 points and eight rebounds.
THE STAT II: After the game, Collins searched the box score to find some way to explain to reporters how the game was decided. The game was so close, nothing stood out. He noted the Bulls outrebounded the Sixers 50-37, but the difference was on defensive rebounds (38-26).
TURNING POINT: Despite suffering a severe left ankle sprain in the third quarter, Hamilton came back into the game with 20 seconds left and went 3-for-4 on free throws to seal the outcome.
INJURY UPDATE: Hamilton got injured on a jumping pass play where he came down on a defender's foot. He was carried off the floor by teammates Kirk Hinrich and Deng. He was limping noticeably in the locker room after the game.
HOT: Deng and Young were each 10-for-16 from the field. Young was 3-for-5 on free throws, however, while Deng hit all four of his attempts from the line.
NOT: Evan Turner and Jason Richardson of Philadelphia combined to go 9-for-29 in the game.
QUOTABLE II: "The whole game, whenever we needed a big bucket, he was making it."
-- Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich on teammate Deng
QUOTABLE III: "Fred Tedeschi [Bulls trainer] said we could use him if needed. We needed him."
-- Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, talking about Hamilton coming back from his ankle injury
INSIDE THE ARENA: Between the first and second quarters, rather than have a corporate sponsored event Saturday, the Bulls showed a video of injured star guard Derrick Rose with the 1970s song "Still the One'' playing underneath. Rose is not expected back until spring 2013 at the earliest.
NOTABLE: Deng, who leads the league in minutes per game, averaging 40.5 minutes, played in 42 Saturday. Noah, who ranks third in minutes played with 38.8 per game, played in 41.
UP NEXT: For the Bulls, Tuesday vs. Pacers, Wednesday @ Cavaliers, Friday @ Pistons. For the Sixers, Tuesday vs. Timberwolves, Friday vs. Celtics, Saturday at Celtics.