CHICAGO -- Philadelphia 76ers guard and Chicago native Evan Turner said he wasn't affected by the abundance of boos he received in the 76ers' 103-91 loss to the Chicago Bulls in the first game of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series on Saturday.
Turner became public enemy No. 1 among Bulls' fans recently after saying he would prefer to face the Bulls instead of the Miami Heat in the first round because they were a better matchup. Turner said he meant no disrespect to the Bulls, but their fans showed Saturday they aren't quick to forgive.
Turner was first booed when he checked into the game with 1:39 left in the first quarter and was continually treated to the same sound whenever he touched the ball throughout the game.
"They're not playing on the court so, tell you the truth, I only worry about my teammates, the opponent, the positive people like my family in the stands and stuff," said Turner, who attended St. Joseph High School in the Chicago suburb of Westchester, Ill. "I don't worry about the people not playing on the court. You can't worry about it. You know?"
Turner brought upon further wrath from the crowd in the third quarter when he was at the center of an altercation. After fouling Joakim Noah under the the basket, Turner got tangled up with Noah, bumped twice into Carlos Boozer, gave Boozer a slight push from behind and then had words with Rip Hamilton.
As the referees stepped in, Derrick Rose also approached the scene and began enthusiastically clapping in Turner's direction. Rose and Turner have known each other since high school.
Rose, Hamilton and Elton Brand all received technical fouls. Turner wasn't given a technical, but was further booed by the crowd.
"I think it was just Boozer," Turner said of the incident. "We bumped into each other, and he tried to come under my arms, so he bumped me twice. I was trying to get my space. It wasn't anything to go nuts about. I dodged a technical. That's pretty much it."
From a pure basketball standpoint, Turner had a solid game. He started the second half, played 29 minutes, scored 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting and had three rebounds, five assists and three steals. Turner averaged 9.4 points and 26.4 minutes during the regular season.
76ers coach Doug Collins was pleased with Turner's game and expects him to play a large role throughout the series.
"Evan did very well for us out there tonight," Collins said. "He will have to play a lot. When you play the Bulls, you need a playmaker out there. Evan will play a lot because of that."