CHICAGO — Center Joakim Noah did more scoring than passing for a change and the Chicago Bulls handed the Philadelphia 76ers their 24th consecutive loss with a 91-81 victory Saturday night at the United Center.
With the loss, Philadelphia moved into sole possession of second place on the list of longest losing streaks within a single season. Cleveland set the record of 26 straight in 2010-11. Three other teams lost 23 in a row — Vancouver in 1995-96, Denver in 1997-98 and Charlotte in 2011-12.
Noah, who scored 20 points, had led the Bulls in assists during the previous nine games, but that streak came to an end. He finished with eight rebounds and four assists. Guard Jimmy Butler added 17 points for Chicago (39-31), while forward Taj Gibson and guard D.J. Augustin scored 16 each.
Forward Thaddeus Young led Philadelphia (15-55) with 28 points, while center Henry Sims finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds. The 76ers shot 34.5 percent from the field as a team.
The 76ers battled all night, but missed their first 18 attempts from 3-point range. Center Byron Mullens finally ended that streak with 9:47 left in the fourth quarter and they ended the night 1-for-20 from long range.
Chicago led for the entire second half, but was never able to put much distance on the 76ers.
Philadelphia pulled within 86-79 with 3:50 remaining on Young’s three-point play.
The Bulls responded with a jumper by Gibson and a 3-pointer by Augustin, which gave them the biggest lead of the night at 91-79 with 2:29 remaining.
The two teams had trouble converting inside. The box score had the Bulls hitting just 13 of 32 shots in the paint. The 76ers were not much better at 20-for-43. Gibson recorded a game-high four blocked shots.
Both teams were coming off tough losses Friday. Philadelphia nearly ended the losing streak with a late comeback against New York, but Carter-Williams’ potential tying 3-pointer rimmed out just before the buzzer.
The 76ers controlled the first quarter Saturday, building a 25-20 lead, while limiting Chicago to 25 percent shooting (4-for-16). The Bulls did not take their first lead of the game until Augustin hit a 3-pointer to make it 39-38 with 1:28 left in the second quarter.
NOTES: Philadelphia will be without G Tony Wroten indefinitely due to a sprained right ankle. He’s the Sixers’ fourth-leading scorer at 13.4 points per game. Coach Brett Brown said he expects Wroten to miss all three games on the current road trip and perhaps more. “It’s just another opportunity to see maybe more minutes of all of our young guys,” Brown said. … Heading into Saturday, Chicago C Joakim Noah had led the team in assists for nine straight games. … Brown on getting the Sixers to play hard during the long losing streak: “It’s been my greatest fear, but probably the single area where I’m most proud of and it hasn’t been as hard as I thought.” … Philadelphia G Michael Carter-Williams is on pace to become the third player since 1950-51 to lead all rookies in points, rebounds and assists. The others were Oscar Robertson in 1960-61 and Alvan Adams in 1975-76.
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