DARIO Saric and Shawn Long took center stage for the 76ers, both rookies posting career highs in scoring to lead Philadelphia in a 117-107 win against the ailing Chicago Bulls at the United Center on Friday night (Saturday, Manila time).
Saric finished with 32 points and 10 rebounds to continued his rookie-best streak of 22 games scoring in double-figures. Shawn Long had had a career-best 18 points and seven rebounds in his ninth game as a pro.
Both rookies stepped up for the Sixers, who were without injured post players Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid.
The loss tied the Bulls to ninth place with Detroit in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls and Magic are each 1 1/2 games behind eighth place Miami.
Philadelphia used a surge in the third period to turn a 59-46 halftime advantage into a 20-point lead, leading Bulls fans to boo the home team when the score reached 81-55.
Chicago tried to rally, managing to make it 102-92 midway through the fourth quarter. The Bulls had a chance to reduce the deficit to single-digits buts Denzel Valentine missed an open show from downtown. Saric responded with a contested triple to silence the crowd.
Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 36 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. Bobby Portis had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Nikola Mirotic had 15 points.
Sergio Rodriguez added 12 points and seven assists for the 76ers, and Gerald Henderson added 14 points.