76ers 89, Bulls 75

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CHICAGO (AP) – Allen Iverson scored 39 points and the slumping Philadelphia 76ers beat the Chicago Bulls 89-75 on Saturday night to move into a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

That snapped the Sixers’ three-game losing streak. It also gave them a four-game split with the Bulls and the tiebreaker because Philadelphia has a better division record.

A Sixers team that was in a 4-13 nosedive perhaps saved its season just a few days after losing a home game to the Bulls. And it did so without Chris Webber, a late scratch with a lower back strain.

But the Sixers still had Iverson. And a Bulls team that had won four straight and six of seven really didn’t have an answer.

Iverson scored nine points in the second quarter as the Sixers built a 47-37 halftime lead, and he had eight points in a 16-0 run early in the third quarter that blew it open at 63-39.

He and Andre Iguodala hit back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 55-39 early in the run. A few minutes later, the Philadelphia bench jumped to its feet and let out a collective “Oh!” as Iverson buried a 3-pointer, got fouled by Jannero Pargo and completed a four-point play that made it 61-39 with 8:22 left in the third.

Iverson added a jumper to make it 63-39, before Chicago’s Andres Nocioni hit a reverse layup with 5:50 left to stop the run.

It was a stark contrast from Wednesday’s game in Philadelphia, when the Bulls won by seven and temporarily took possession of the eighth and final playoff spot. The teams now trail seventh-place Indiana by 11/2 games and sixth-place Milwaukee by two.

Samuel Dalembert scored 12 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the Sixers, who allowed their lowest point total of the season.

Nocioni delivered his sixth straight double-double, with 19 points and 10 rebounds, for Chicago. But he had little help.

Starting guards Kirk Hinrich and Chris Duhon scored five and 14, respectively, and were a combined 7-for-24. Ben Gordon wasn’t much help off the bench, finishing with nine points on 3-of-10 shooting.

The Bulls shot a season-low 32.6 percent (28-for-86) from the field.

Put simply, they reverted to the form they showed a few weeks earlier, when they lost four in a row and six of eight and appeared headed to the draft lottery.

Having Luol Deng might have helped.

The Bulls’ third-leading scorer and backup Eric Piatkowski collided during the morning shootaround and sustained concussions.

Piatkowski also suffered a laceration that required “at least 15, maybe almost 20 stitches” in the forehead, coach Scott Skiles said. Both players are day-to-day.

“It was a freak accident that I had never seen before,” Skiles said. “We were doing offense at two different ends, two different teams. Both teams threw the ball at the same time in the backcourt, while both players went for it.”

Notes: Sixers G Kevin Ollie did not make the trip after straining his right quadriceps in Friday’s game against Boston. … Iverson thought he got fouled on a missed shot and got called for a technical with 3:18 left in the first half. … The Sixers outrebounded the Bulls 51-37.

AP-ES-04-08-06 2310EDT

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