Thaddeus Young of the Philadelphia 76ers goes up for a shot between (L-R) Kyle Korver, Carlos Boozer and Kurt Thomas of the Chicago Bulls and teammate Elton Brand at the United Center on December 21 2010 in Chicago Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Chicago Bulls Vs. Philadelphia 76ers: Six Bulls In Double Figures In Blowout Win

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BULLS ANALYSIS: Team Effort Produces 45-Point Blowout Of 76ers

The Bulls must have been pretty embarrassed by their lame showing against the Clippers on Saturday night, where a Derrick Rose missed free throw which would have sent the game into overtime resulted in a one-point loss to one of the worst teams in the league.

The Bulls roared out to an early lead, thanks to the intense and tough play of Kurt Thomas, who wasn’t afraid to foul Sixers players; as he told the Tribune:

I was always taught not to give up layups and dunks,” Thomas said. “If it helps us, send a guy to the line. I just did my job.”

The Bulls have a deeper bench than they’ve had in years; even without Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, they won by 45 points for only the third time in the last 25 years. The others: 111-66 over the Grizzlies on January 13, 2007 and 133-88 over the Heat on December 30, 1994.

The Bulls are 17-9, currently the third-best record in the Eastern Conference and eighth-best in the NBA. They seem just short of what they need to join the top echelon of teams; the loss to the Clippers Saturday, and the failure to put away the Nuggets in Denver, two winnable games, separate them from the elite.

Still, they weathered a tough early schedule with some serious injuries. If they can make it until Noah comes back, they should be in fine shape for the playoffs.

The Bulls take on the Wizards in Washington tonight.

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Kurt Thomas Nearly Posts Double Double; Bulls Win By 45, 121-76

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Derrick Rose scored 22 points to go with 12 assists as the Chicago Bulls manhandled the Philadelphia 76ers, 121-76, at United Arena.

Luol Deng also chipped in 22 points and Carlos Boozer contributed a double- double of 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulls, who have won eight of nine. Kurt Thomas finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and five blocks for the victors.

Andre Iguodala led the Sixers with 17 points and Thaddeus Young added 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench for Philadelphia, which has lost two of three.

The Bulls travel to Washington to play the Wizards on Wednesday.

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Chicago Bulls Vs. Philadelphia 76ers: Taj Gibson Out Tonight

The Bulls are starting to look like teams in the NFC North -- key players dropping like the proverbial flies. The Bulls might have been able to handle Joakim Noah's injury better if Taj Gibson could have replaced him in the starting lineup, but now, Gibson is also out after having suffered a concussion in the loss to the Clippers on Saturday night.

Coach Tom Thibodeau was quoted as saying that Gibson would accompany the team on its trip to Washington for Wednesday night's game against the Wizards, and that his playing tomorrow would likely be a game-time decision. In the meantime, Kurt Thomas will start at center tonight and be backed up by Omer Asik.

Otherwise, the easy thing to do would be to assume that the Bulls could wipe the floor with the Sixers, who are only 3-10 on the road and 11-16 overall. Their road wins have come against the Knicks, Nets and Magic, who they defeated on Saturday night as the Bulls were losing to the Clippers. Of course, the Magic were playing shorthanded after their big trade on Saturday.

The Bulls will have to go into this game better focused, so it doesn't come down to Derrick Rose having to make a free throw in the last second of the game just to tie. The Bulls will also be playing for the second straight game against a former coach, Doug Collins.

Tonight's game begins at 7 p.m. CST and will be televised on CSN Chicago.

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