Chicago 88, Philadelphia 87

PHILADELPHIA, March 14 (AP) -- Tip, tip, grab, run. Andre Miller was sure he had the loose ball in the open court and could have coasted toward a winning layup.

Then Miller heard a whistle and stopped, thinking the refs called a travel. Then he realized Philadelphia called a timeout. The fast break stalled and the 76ers' best chance at a win was over like that.

So Kirk Hinrich's jumper with 26.7 seconds left stood as the winner and gave the Chicago Bulls their fourth straight victory, 88-87 over the Sixers on Wednesday night.

"He knew it was timeout, and as it stands he probably should have kept going, because when you take a timeout we couldn't move the ball up,'' Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "It's a situation that I'm sure he has never been in, I was never in it as a player, so I think it was a different situation for him and for everyone.''

Luol Deng scored 20 points and Hinrich added 14 for the Bulls as they survived the bizarre ending.

Adrian Griffin missed two free throws for Chicago with 9.6 seconds to go, and the rebound was batted around before Miller scooped the ball and sped off. He stopped when the whistle blew.

Joe Smith said he called a timeout immediately after the second miss and thought more time should have been put on the clock. Miller said he saw 5.1 seconds left when he had the ball.

Miller couldn't believe the call and shook his head in the huddle. He threw a sharp inbounds pass from in front of the Sixers' bench with two seconds left to Andre Iguodala, whose shot missed.

On the official play-by-play sheet, Miller was credited with a rebound with 5.9 seconds left.

"Someone called a timeout and that's what Coach said to do, make or miss,'' Miller said. "Whoever called timeout did their job.''

Iguodala made all 10 free throws and scored 19 points. Willie Green had 16 points and Samuel Dalembert added 15 for the Sixers, who lost their second straight and saw their longshot playoff hopes continue to dim.

Ben Wallace had 10 points, 11 rebounds and tied a career high with eight assists. The Bulls outrebounded the Sixers 45-30.

While rebounding has been a sore point for the Sixers this season, they've rarely struggled as much as they did in this game. The Bulls outrebounded the Sixers on the offensive end 14-0 in the first half. That led to a 20-2 edge on second-chance points.

Overall, the Bulls scored 33 second-chance points to only four for the Sixers.

The Sixers led almost the entire game until the Bulls rallied late to take the lead. The Sixers went back ahead 87-86 on Dalembert's slam off an Iguodala lob.

Then Deng drove the lane, lost his balance and tossed the ball to Hinrich, who connected from the right side for the winner. Cheeks argued with the officials that Deng should have been whistled for traveling.

"It was a broken play,'' Hinrich said. "I slipped, but Lu made a good play to drive and get it to me. I feel like when I get a good look, I should be able to knock it down.''

Deng brushed off the stumble and said he simply got the ball to an open man.

"I knew Kirk would be open in the corner,'' Deng said. "I was going to take it to the rim, but saw him open.''

Iguodala missed his jumper after Hinrich's basket.

The Bulls wiped out a 12-point deficit and scored seven straight points late in the fourth to take the lead for the first time.

Chris Duhon hit a 3-pointer, Deng dunked, then scored on a layup off a turnover that put the Bulls ahead 86-84.

"No disrespect to the Sixers, but we shouldn't be going out of this building thinking we played well,'' said Bulls coach Scott Skiles. "That wasn't our best effort, but we'll take it.''

It was a nice rally for Chicago after Green scored eight points in the third quarter, making a fadeaway jumper and another shot from the top of the key to make it 58-51. Then he fooled Duhon on a crossover that left the Bulls guard stumbling while Green connected for a nine-point lead.

The crowd loved that one while it was replayed several times during a timeout.

Notes: Chubby Checker was the halftime entertainment. ... Miller had six assists in the first quarter and finished with 12. ... The Bulls have won six of nine against the Sixers. ... The Sixers have lost 11 games when they held a double-digit lead.

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