Joakim Noah carries Chicago Bulls past Philadelphia 76ers

Chicago's Carlos Boozer slips past the Sixers' Spencer Hawes (center) and Evan Turner for a bucket during the first half of Thursday night's game.
Chicago's Carlos Boozer slips past the Sixers' Spencer Hawes (center) and Evan Turner for a bucket during the first half of Thursday night's game. (CHARLES REX ARBOGAST / AP)
Posted: March 02, 2013

CHICAGO - The 76ers got a glimpse of what they had hoped to get out of their center position this season, only the person who produced the monster game at the United Center on Thursday night played for the Chicago Bulls.

The Sixers were victimized by a mammoth triple-double from Chicago center Joakim Noah, who single-handedly wreaked havoc with 23 points, 21 rebounds and 11 blocks to lead the Bulls to a 93-82 victory over the Sixers at the United Center.

The loss extended the Sixers' season-high losing streak to seven games, and it reduced their ever-shrinking playoff hopes even more. The loss dropped their record to 22-34. They trail eight-place Milwaukee, owner of the final spot for the Eastern Conference playoffs, by six games.

Noah played the type of game that the Sixers had hoped to see from injured center Andrew Bynum. The Bulls center dominated the game at both ends of the floor.

"He has a great motor," Sixers coach Doug Collins said. "He plays every play. He doesn't take a play off, which is a tremendous quality to have. Even If he is out on the boards, he is going to get the boards. He has the speed and quickness to get back, so it's not like he compromises his defense."

Noah tallied the third triple-double of his career. After blocking five shots in the first half, he blocked six more in the second on the way to tying the Bulls' record for blocks in a regulation game. Artis Gilmore rejected 11 on Dec. 20, 1977.

Jrue Holiday led the Sixers, losers of eight consecutive road games, with 22 points. Spencer Hawes finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Sixers, who have not won on the road since beating the Los Angeles Lakers on New Year's Day.

"It has gotten hard," Sixers guard Evan Turner said. "It's rough not being able to get a win when we know we have to get one. You just have to keep on trying, I guess."

For the Bulls (33-25), Carlos Boozer added 21 points and 12 rebounds. Leading by 45-39 at halftime, Chicago extended its advantage to 16 points with about four minutes left in the third quarter. The Sixers cut the lead to 75-69 when Hawes tipped in a missed basket with 8 minutes, 12 seconds left in the game.

But that was as close as the Sixers would get the rest of the way.

The Sixers were coming off perhaps their worst defeat of the season, a lifeless 98-84 home loss to rebuilding Orlando on Tuesday night.

Chicago beat the Sixers for the third straight time, earning its first season sweep since the Bulls won all four meetings with the Sixers in 1996-97.

Contact John N. Mitchell at Follow @JmitchInquirer on Twitter.