+ Several Bulls players blamed a letdown for their 105-99 defeat against the 76ers in the Jan. 7 matchup at Philadelphia, but they promised it wouldn’t happen again.
The 76ers outscored the visitors in the decisive third quarter, 32-18, then they held on in the final minutes. They drained 78 percent of their field goal attempts in the period.
“We took them for granted on the road,” Bulls guard Ronnie Brewer said. “We’ve got to redeem ourselves. We have to play well to keep our streak alive at home. That won’t be easy, but we’ll be ready.”
The Bulls took a run of 14 consecutive home victories into the game.
+ It was Bulls guard Derrick Rose who said “What about me?” in response to potential Most Valuable Player candidates earlier this season. Maybe it’s time for 76ers head coach Doug Collins to borrow the line in his Coach of the Year bid.
The 76ers entered the game with 10 more victories (37) they they had all of last season. Only the Bull (plus 12) and New Jersey Nets (plus 11) exceeded their win totals by greater margins.
If the 76ers win seven of their final nine games, all except six of which will be played at home, they will finish with a 44-38 record. That would represent their best total since the 2002-03 season, when they had a 48-34 mark.
+ Sixers forward Elton Brand has displayed signs of fatigue in recent weeks and will have to handled carefully in the stretch drive.
In the last 22 games, the 32-year-old forward averaged 13.0 points on 45.8 percent in the field. In the first 50 games, his numbers were 15.6 and 52.8, respectively.
Brand has averaged 34.6 minutes per game, his highest total in four seasons.