|Bulls, 76ers look to bounce back from tough defeats|
Teams attempting to rebound from difficult losses meet Wednesday night when the Philadelphia 76ers host the Chicago Bulls.
The Sixers (22-21) led by 15 points with a minute left in the third quarter and by 10 with 9:45 left in the game, but committed 10 of their 24 turnovers in the fourth quarter en route to a 105-101 road loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.
That same night, the Bulls (18-29) fell 132-128 to the New Orleans Pelicans in double overtime, after leading 108-91 with 5:06 left in regulation. DeMarcus Cousins had 44 points, 24 rebounds and 10 assists to pace the Pelicans, becoming the first player with a 40/20/10 game since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1972.
Jerian Grant and Robin Lopez scored 22 points apiece for Chicago, and Grant contributed 13 assists. The Bulls, down by two, also had a chance to win it when Justin Holiday was fouled on a 3-point attempt with three-tenths of a second left in regulation. Holiday made his first two free throws to tie it, but missed the third.
Holiday later told the Chicago Tribune he was "absolutely not" nervous.
"I was hyped," he told that outlet. "I get the opportunity, I don't miss free throws. I (thought) I'd finish it. ... We could talk about things earlier in the game that we did wrong but when you get an opportunity like that, that's what's on my mind right now."
The loss was only Chicago's second in six games. The Bulls are also 15-9 since dropping 20 of their first 23 games this season.
Philadelphia coach Brett Brown called his team's defeat "an immature loss" and added, "Our stars weren't stars tonight," according to NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Dario Saric had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Sixers, and Joel Embiid contributed 15 and 14, respectively. Rookie guard Ben Simmons was, however, limited to six points and seven assists.
Embiid was just 5 for 13 from the floor, while Simmons was 3 for 8. Both committed four turnovers, as did Saric and backup point guard T.J. McConnell, and the Sixers saw a three-game winning streak come to an end. They also lost for the eighth time this season after building a lead of 11 points or more.
Simmons, a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year, was apprised of Brown's remarks.
"We weren't (stars)," he said, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia. "We (stunk). We didn't make big plays down the stretch. We didn't take care of the ball. ... He's right."
The Sixers, who on Dec. 18 led by nine with 5:51 left before falling 117-115 to Chicago, continue to be without guards J.J. Redick (leg), Markelle Fultz (shoulder) and Jerryd Bayless (wrist). Of the three, Bayless seems most likely to return Wednesday, after missing the two previous games.
Bulls guard Kris Dunn is out with a concussion. Another guard, Cameron Payne, has missed the entire season following foot surgery. He is not expected back until next month.