Doug Collins made two major changes to his starting lineup. In the end, those adjustments — coupled with a Bulls team missing its star player — were enough to even this playoff series at 1-1.
Spencer Hawes replaced Lavoy Allen as the starting center and Chicago product Evan Turner got the start at shooting guard over Jodie Meeks. The up-and-down Turner proved his worth, scoring 19 points in 42 minutes, while backcourt mate Jrue Holiday led all scorers with 26. The Sixers outscored the Bulls 36-14 in the third quarter.
“This game we caught fire and it was pretty hard to put it out,” Holiday said.
Chicago, of course, was playing without reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose, who received a standing ovation before tip-off. He was seated alone up in the press box taking in all the action — or inaction by his Bulls in the second half. Joakim Boah led the Bulls with 21 points and eight rebounds.
“No excuses. We know we can play better,” said Noah.
The game was dominated by highlight-reel dunks from the Sixers, including two big ones down the stretch from Andre Iguodala. He finished with 11 points.
The Sixers and Bulls are off until Friday night, when the scene shifts to the Wells Fargo Center.