The Chicago Bulls aimed to erase yet another double-digit deficit on the road, but this time it was too little, too late.
Seth Curry hit a clutch jump shot for Philadelphia with just 10 seconds remaining that put the 76ers' lead out of reach for good. A Joel Embiid foul on DeMar DeRozan was overturned on the next possession, the Sixers won the jump ball, and the Bulls dropped their second loss of the season.
It was another valiant effort for the Bulls, who found themselves down by as many as 18 points in the game. DeRozan continued to show why the Bulls front office signed him during the offseason as he put up a double-double with 37 points and 10 rebounds on 59% shooting.
Zach LaVine added 27 points on 24 shots, while Nikola Vucevic scored just four points, his lowest point tally in a Bulls uniform.
The Sixers won their fourth game in a row as Embiid returned from a nagging knee injury. The home team was also missing Tobias Harris and Danny Green, as well as their franchise point guard Ben Simmons.
Poor Shooting Hurts Bulls in First Half
The Bulls lost the lead for good when the Sixers hit the first of their 12 three-point field goals, but hung around for the first 18 minutes of the game.
The Bulls found themselves down double-digits in the first quarter, but ended up cutting the Philadelphia lead to three points midway through the second quarter.
However, the Bulls struggled from the field, specifically from behind the arc where they shot just 2-11 (18%). That figure was in stark contrast to Philadelphia, who shot 7-13 (54%) from behind the three-point line.
This, combined with the disparity in first half bench scoring (21-4), allowed Philadelphia to go on a 15-0 run throughout the second quarter, which extended their lead to 18 points, the largest of the night.
The poor second quarter saw the Bulls trail the 76ers 58-43 at halftime, the fourth straight game the Bulls found themselves on the losing end at halftime.
Bulls Attempt Another Valiant Comeback
If this year's Bulls have proven anything, it is that they will not go down without a fight. Key stalwarts DeRozan and LaVine led the way for Chicago, who ended up cutting the lead to five points.
That said, the Sixers went on yet another run, eventually extending their lead to double digits with the help of big shots from Seth Curry and Georges Niang.
The Bulls responded with a run themselves as they scored nine unanswered points, topped off by a DeRozan jumper with 6:40 left to tie the game at 87.
Yet again, Sixers found a way to answer anytime the Bulls aimed to take the lead. Embiid and Curry combined for 11 points in the final frame with the latter scoring the key jumper with 10 seconds remaining that ultimately sealed the Bulls' fate.
What's Next On Tap
The 6-2 Bulls will face the 6-2 Sixers, this time a the United Center on Saturday night. The Sixers are expected to miss Simmons, with Harris and Green listed as question marks.
Make sure to check out the Bulls On Tap podcast for further postgame reaction as well as Chicago basketball analysis and commentary all season.