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News » Chicago Bulls Getting Inside 2009-11-17

Chicago Bulls Getting Inside 2009-11-17

Chicago Bulls Getting Inside 2009-11-17Getting a win over Philadelphia on Saturday was important for the Bulls because now it's time to get out of town.

In a yearly ritual in Chicago, the circus moves into the United Center just before Thanksgiving, which forces the Bulls on an early-season road trip. This season's trek is six games long and features stops in Sacramento, Los Angeles to face the Lakers, Denver, Portland, Utah on Thanksgiving night and finally Milwaukee.

Four of the opponents were playoff teams a year ago, while the Bucks and Kings are two of the league's early surprises.

"It's the first time, I think, ever for me that we've gone on a long road trip and we haven't had a back-to-back game in it," coach Vinny Del Negro said. "So we do have some rest between games, which is a plus for us because of our lack of bodies."

The Bulls have just 10 healthy players, and that doesn't figure to change during the trip, although forward Tyrus Thomas (broken left arm) and center Aaron Gray (stress fracture in left fibula) could return shortly after it ends.

This trip will be a test for the Bulls' defense, which has kept the team in most every game so far this season, except for one blowout in Boston on Oct. 30.

The first stop is Sacramento on Tuesday, which appeared to be the easiest task on the trip. But the Kings have won four in a row, even while leading scorer Kevin Martin is out with a broken wrist.

Rookie guard Tyreke Evans has played well, along with second-year forward Jason Thompson. This will be the Bulls' first look at former teammate Andres Nocioni since Chicago traded him to Sacramento for Brad Miller and John Salmons last February.

BULLS 94, SIXERS 88: The Bulls played a sloppy game but managed to hold off Philadelphia on Saturday at the United Center. After falling behind 20-6 at the start of the game, the Bulls recovered quickly with a 16-0 run but went down again by nine points early in the third quarter. Eventually, the Bulls picked up their energy and opened an 82-65 advantage with 5:40 remaining. The Sixers got as close as 90-85 with just under a minute remaining before the Bulls finished it off.

Guard Kirk Hinrich and forward Luol Deng scored 19 points each to lead the Bulls, who piled up 21 turnovers. Guard Andre Iguodala led Philadelphia with 24 points.

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Added: November 17, 2009


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