The Chicago Bulls will have a quick turnaround on Wednesday night when they head to the Wells Fargo Center for a matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Bulls lost at home to the Los Angeles Clippers, 94-89, on Tuesday night. That setback ended a three-game winning streak and a quick turnaround is not helpful to this Chicago squad.
Under-manned already without the starting backcourt of Derrick Rose and Rip Hamilton, the Bulls' starters log heavy minutes. Luol Deng and Joakim Noah rank Nos. 1 and 2 in the NBA in minutes played and those two, plus Carlos Boozer and Marco Belinelli, all went longer than 40 minutes Tuesday night.
The Bulls committed 17 turnovers against the red-hot Clippers and Los Angeles scored 22 points off Chicago's miscues.
"When the ball moved, we were fine," said head coach Tom Thibodeau. "I liked the way we played in the first quarter. When we started going one-on-one, we are not going to beat good teams doing that. That put them in the open floor. When you give a team like that lay-ups and dunks you are making your job twice as hard."
The Bulls can took some comfort heading out on the road. They've won their last three away from home and beat the Sixers, 93-88 on Dec. 1.
Philadelphia bested the Detroit Pistons, 104-97, at home on Monday. It was the 76ers second win in their last three and Philly has won its last two games at home.
Against the Pistons, Jrue Holiday led the way with 25 points, 12 of which came in the fourth quarter, and eight assists. Evan Turner chipped in 18 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.
These two youngsters have really come on for the Sixers. Turner beat the Boston Celtics late on Friday night and Holiday carried the load against Detroit.
"Our guys have fought, and they've competed and they're growing up," said head coach Doug Collins. "To see Evan and Jrue start to emerge as a backcourt that can play like that together and really thrive, is very exciting."
Holiday, a front-runner for the Most Improved Player award, is averaging 18.0 ppg and 8.9 apg, while Turner is at 15.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg and 4.1 apg.
With the Brooklyn Nets loss to the New York Knicks, the 76ers are second alone in the Atlantic Division. It's a pretty impressive feat considering not just the youth of the Sixers two best players, but the fact that Andrew Bynum hasn't seen the floor yet this season and admitted earlier in the week that missing the whole season was a possibility.
The Bulls have won three in a row against the Sixers, including the victory earlier this month. Chicago has lost four of its last six in the City of Brotherly Love.