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Bulls get the best of 76ers 93-88

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 1, 2012 at 11:04 pm •  Published: December 1, 2012

CHICAGO (AP) — Richard Hamilton wasn't sure he was healthy enough to return to the game.

It didn't matter, he was going back on the floor for the Chicago Bulls.

Hamilton left the game in the third quarter with a left ankle injury, then returned to hit three of four free throws in the final 20 seconds to clinch a 93-88 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

Luol Deng scored a game-high 25 points. He also had a season-high seven assists and has led the team in scoring in consecutive games. He scored 22 in a 101-78 win over the Dallas Mavericks.

Hamilton finished with 15 points for the Bulls, who played the 76ers for the first time since last season's first-round playoff series.

Hamilton went down with a little more than three minutes left in the third quarter after elevating off the ground while on offense. Kirk Hinrich and Deng helped him as he limped off the floor.

"As soon as I came up off my feet, I felt something on the bottom of my foot," Hamilton said.

"I felt something pop."

Hamilton did not receive X-rays, but said he is scheduled for an MRI on Sunday.

"When Rip (Hamilton) came back, (team trainer) Fred Tedeschi said we could use him if needed," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We needed him ... we wanted him out there for the free throw situation."

Pending the MRI, the decision worked out well for Thibodeau and the Bulls.

After missing the second of his first pair of free throws, Hamilton was fouled after grabbing the loose ball batted away by Joakim Noah and made his next two.

"I should have had Thad (Young) and Evan (Turner) pinching on Noah and Evan got caught over there on him, so that was my mistake," 76ers coach Doug Collins said.

Chicago (8-7) outrebounded Philadelphia 50-37, including 13 rebounds for Noah and 12 for Carlos Boozer.

Noah had 12 points and seven assists and Boozer had 12 points, giving him double-doubles in six of his past eight games.

Jrue Holiday led the 76ers with 23 points. Thaddeus Young added 22 points and seven rebounds.

"There were a lot of loose balls, 50-50 balls that we should have got," Holiday said. "I think there were lots of plays on defense we missed at critical times. It kind of comes down to the details."

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