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Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers (76ers lead series 3-2)
The 76ers look to close out the top-seeded Bulls at home when the two teams meet for Thursday’s Game 6.
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Philadelphia -3.5 & 170
Opening Line & Total: 76ers -3 & 169
After struggling for the entire series, SF Luol Deng finally had a breakout performance with 24 points and eight rebounds in Chicago’s 77-69 win in Game 5. PF Carlos Boozer also stepped up with 19 points, 13 rebounds and six assists and helped lead his Bulls team to a 36-22 advantage in points in the paint. This advantage will be even greater if C Joakim Noah (15.0 PPG, 9.3 RPG in series), who has missed the past two games with a sprained ankle, returns to action on Thursday. He’s officially a game-time decision. The Bulls are 38-22 ATS (63%) when the line is +3 to -3 in the past three seasons, while the 76ers are 15-31 ATS (33%) as a home favorite of 6 points or less in this same timeframe.
Although Philly is a stingy home team, Chicago allows just 88.3 PPG on 42.2% FG in road games this season, posting a stellar 24-11 SU mark (21-14 ATS) away from home. Deng had averaged just 8.0 PPG in Games 2-4 before scoring 24 points in Game 5, where he made 10-of-19 shots including 4-of-5 threes. Boozer failed to score in double figures in Games 1-2, but has three straight double-doubles, averaging 20.0 PPG and 11.3 RPG in these three contests. PG C.J. Watson continues to have a brutal series trying to replace injured Derrick Rose. Watson’s 2-for-10 night in Game 5 drops his series averages to 7.6 PPG on 25.5% FG (12-for-47 FG). SG Richard Hamilton has also been ice cold in his past three games, making just 10-of-33 shots. After dishing out 16 assists over Games 1-3, he has just one assist in the past two games combined.
Philadelphia won both home games this series in low-scoring fashion (79-74 and 89-82). For the season, Philly is allowing just 85.3 PPG (41.3% FG) on its home floor, going 21-14 SU (19-16 ATS) at Wells Fargo Center. The 76ers shot a dismal 32.1% FG (2-for-11 threes) on Tuesday as their best player, SF Andre Iguodala, finished 4-of-19 from the floor. That puts him at 30.6% FG (15.0% threes) for the series, a huge dropoff from his 45.4% FG (39.4% threes) during the regular season. C Spencer Hawes has enjoyed his time in the paint since Noah got hurt in Game 3, tallying 18.0 PPG and 10.3 PPG in the past three games. In the first two contests of the series, Hawes logged a total of 33 minutes, scoring just seven points with seven rebounds. Philly’s best player in the series has been PG Jrue Holiday, who’s averaging 19.0 PPG, 5.6 RPG and 4.8 APG. He had his worst shooting night in Game 5 (5-for-17 FG), but still contributed five rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks. PG Lou Williams (12.6 PPG in series) and SG Evan Turner (12.0 PPG in series) have shined at times during the series, but they are a combined 2-for-22 from three-point range, a big reason Philly has made just 21.5% of its threes in this series.
Submitted by Payton on Thu, 05/10/2012 - 16:33