Chicago, IL – Joakim Noah registered his third-career triple- double with 23 points, 21 rebounds and 11 blocked shots to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 93-82 win over the reeling Philadelphia 76ers at United Center.
"(Noah) is an energy and effort player, so when he plays like that, and you get an effort like that it unites and inspires your team," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. "It makes other guys do the same."
Carlos Boozer added 21 points and 12 boards, while Luol Deng finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Bulls, who had dropped their last three games at home entering the contest.
Deng took an elbow to the face from Philadelphia forward Spencer Hawes in the closing seconds of the game. He remained on the court for several minutes before heading to the locker room.
Jrue Holiday scored 22 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the floor and Hawes added 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Sixers, who have dropped a season-high seven straight.
"It is rough not being able to win. We just have to keep trying to find answers, play hard and give ourselves the opportunity to play win every night," Sixers forward Evan Turner said.
The game was tied 12-12 with 6:26 left in the first quarter, but the Bulls scored five straight to go up 17-12 nearly two minutes later. Holiday's jumper sparked an 8-2 run to give Philadelphia a 20-19 lead, but the Bulls managed to take a 23-22 edge into the second.
Chicago opened the second frame with a 9-4 flurry to go up 32-26 at the 8:51 mark, but the Sixers responded with a 10-4 burst to knot things up at 36-36. The Bulls, though, closed the half with a 9-3 swing to take a 45-39 lead into the break.
Noah had 10 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots by halftime.
"Noah was spectacular, he was the difference in the game," Sixers head coach Doug Collins said.
The Bulls stayed hot through the third period, stretching their lead to 16 points, 64-48, following Kirk Hinrich's 3-ball at the 3:46 mark. Holiday's jumper moments later ignited 12-4 run to cut Philadelphia's deficit to 68-62 entering the final frame.
Philadelphia managed to shave the lead to 75-71 near the middle of the forth quarter, but the Bulls quickly countered with an 8-0 burst to push the spread back to 12 points.
The Sixers couldn't get closer than seven the rest of the way.
Noah set a career-high and tied a Bulls record for blocks in a regulation game (11) ... Noah became the fourth player in the last 25 years to post a triple- double with at least 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 blocks (Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O'Neal, Shawn Bradley) ... Chicago guard Richard Hamilton missed Thursday's game with back spasms ... Philadelphia shot a dreadful 57.1 percent (12-for-21) from the free throw line.