CHICAGO -- With the top-seeded Chicago Bulls facing elimination and the Philadelphia 76ers on the cusp of winning their first playoff series in nearly 10 years, both teams had plenty of reason to be motivated for Game 5 on Tuesday.
That just wasn’t apparent on the court in the first quarter. Both teams looked sluggish from the tip, and the Bulls played slightly less ugly basketball to lead 17-16 after one quarter.
The Bulls struggled with their offense for most of the quarter. They were able to set up a couple of easy baskets early in the quarter, but it was downhill from there. They were 8-of-21 from the field, and one of those makes included a Luol Deng unplanned bank shot from 18 feet.
They Bulls made their final two shots of the quarter, which included Deng sinking a 3-pointer as time was expiring to give the Bulls the lead. Deng was 4-of-9 from the field and scored a game-high nine points in the first quarter. He had scored a total of 24 points in the last three games.
Outside of Lavoy Allen, the 76ers were about the same for the quarter. Allen came off the bench and sparked the 76ers with three mid-range jumpers and accounted for six points in the quarter. Other than Allen, the 76ers shot 5 of 14 and committed six turnovers.