Brooks scores 31 points, Bulls beat 76ers in OT
Mar. 12, 2015
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Bulls had enough healthy players to outlast the lowly 76ers.
Aaron Brooks scored seven of his season-high 31 points in overtime to help short-handed Chicago beat the Philadelphia 76ers 104-95 on Wednesday night.
"We got it done without our guys and it felt good," Brooks said. "This team is resilient. It's going to make us better in the long run."
Pau Gasol had 27 points and 16 rebounds, and Nikola Mirotic finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulls. They snapped a three-game skid without four regulars and three of their top five scorers.
The Bulls dressed only 10 players and were without Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah. That's nearly 57 points out of their lineup. Rose had knee surgery Feb. 27, but said Monday that he hopes to return this season, targeting 4-to-6 weeks for a comeback from yet another knee injury. Butler (elbow) missed his sixth straight game, and Gibson (ankle) sat out his seventh in a row. Noah (knee) was a late scratch. It was also the fifth game in seven days for Chicago.
"It's a valuable win for us," Gasol said. "A lot of handicaps but we got it done. That gives us confidence."
Ish Smith led Philadelphia with a career-high 23 points, Isaiah Canaan added 20 and Robert Covington had 12. The 76ers have lost 10 of 12 overall and 10 of 11 against the Bulls.
Brooks had 13 points entering the fourth quarter but got hot in the final 12 minutes of regulation and continued it in the extra session. His layup to start overtime broke a 92-all tie he hit a 3-pointer to make it 103-94 with 1 minute, 3 seconds left in overtime.
"We had a lot of guys step up and we needed everyone," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We have a lot of guys out. Just find a way to scratch out wins, hold the fort until we can get some guys back and we go from there. You'd like to have everyone out there so you're building your rhythm. But it's not the case for us, hasn't been the case all year. So, whoever we have, let's go."
The Bulls looked in command up 74-63 after E'Twaun Moore's layup to open the fourth quarter. But the 76ers surged in front with a 17-5 run. It remained close from that point, and Smith put Philadelphia ahead with a pair of free throws with 56.8 seconds left. After a Chicago miss, Jerami Grant made two free throws with 43 seconds left to give the 76ers a 92-89 lead. Brooks tied it with a 3-pointer from the wing with 33.2 seconds left.
Canaan missed a layup with 25 seconds left, but Tony Snell turned it over on the Bulls' possession. Luc Mbah a Moute's 16-footer that would've won it went off the rim.
"I would back him shooting that midrange shot to win a game 10 times outs of 10," Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said.
Philadelphia missed its first 12 shots of the second half and went 7:39 without a point. The Bulls only scored nine points over that stretch though and led 60-51 before Covington's layup finally ended the 76ers' drought with 4:21 left in the quarter.
Mike Dunleavy hit a half-court shot at the buzzer to give the Bulls a 72-63 advantage entering the fourth.
Brown said before the game that center Joel Embiid can remove a walking boot following a positive checkup on Monday in Los Angeles. Embiid, the third pick in last June's draft, has been out all season with a right foot injury, and there were concerns in Philadelphia that he may have re-injured it while dunking in warmups Saturday night.
Bulls: Dunleavy scored a season-high 27 points in the Bulls' 118-115 win over the 76ers in Philadelphia on Nov. 7. ... Chicago's last three losses all came by 10 or more points. ... Gasol had his 44th double-double.
76ers: Nerlens Noel and Thomas Robinson had 15 rebounds apiece. The 76ers tied a franchise-high tying 41 3-point attempts, finishing 11-for-41. Philadelphia shot 48 percent (12-for-25) from the free-throw line.
Bulls: At Charlotte on Friday night.
76ers: Host Sacramento on Friday night.