The Philadelphia 76ers' break from a tough stretch of road games will be short-lived, but there's no telling how long their worst slump of the season may go on.

Losers of a season-worst five straight, the 76ers look to take advantage of a home game against one of the NBA's worst teams when they play the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.

Four of Philadelphia's last five games have been on the road, where it has played 10 of its last 13.

The Sixers' losing streak could continue for a while if they don't beat the Bulls (13-20). Philadelphia (14-22) will return to the road for three straight games after Friday's contest, visiting San Antonio, Houston and Boston before returning home for matchups with Toronto, Indiana and Detroit.

Philadelphia has already beaten Chicago once this season, winning 96-85 at the United Center on Nov. 2, but it has lost three of its last four at home.

Frustration began to show after the Sixers' 109-96 loss to Toronto on Wednesday night. Philadelphia was outscored 27-16 in the third quarter.

"I'm upset we're not playing up to our ability late in games," Sixers swingman Andre Iguodala said. "We get times where we're down in a game, mentally. It's just tough losing.

"We're just really young right now. We don't understand how to respond to a 7-0 run or the right time of the game where we need to execute an offensive play."

Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks had no answers for his team's problems.

"We'll look at the film and see if there's something we can change and go from there," he said.

Iguodala had 16 points and seven rebounds versus the Raptors, but was 5-for-13 from the field and committed five turnovers. Iguodala had a strong game against the Bulls in November, finishing with 22 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, three steals and three blocks.

Bulls second-leading scorer Luol Deng struggled in that game, finishing with 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting, and it's uncertain if he will play Friday. Deng, averaging 17.9 points per game, has missed two straight contests with left Achilles' tendinitis.

Bulls interim coach Jim Boylan said he hopes Deng plays Friday. Deng's condition is improving, but he isn't sure if he will be ready.

The Bulls had won four of six under Boylan before losing to 105-100 to lowly New York in Chicago on Tuesday night, getting outscored 28-12 in the final quarter.

"We've got to figure out how to execute down the stretch," said Bulls forward Joe Smith, who had 22 points and 12 rebounds. "I think that's what it boils down to. Our execution down the stretch."

Smith has been playing well for Chicago, averaging 18.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in his last five games.

Andres Nocioni started Tuesday for Deng despite being bothered by flu-like symptoms, and he made just 3-of-12 shots and finished with seven points after scoring 26 in a win over Sacramento on Saturday night. He had 19 points in this season's first matchup with Philadelphia.


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