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Sixers Host Bulls Tuesday for First Game of 2024 | Gameday Report and Preview 33/82


In their first game of the new year, the Philadelphia 76ers (22-10) welcome a familiar opponent in the Chicago Bulls (15-19) on Tuesday to complete a home-and-home that began Saturday in Chicago.

The Sixers will play six of their first seven games in 2024 at home.

After winning in Houston on Friday night, the Sixers dropped a 105-92 contest to the Bulls in the finale of a four-game road trip without the NBA’s leading scorer Joel Embiid (ankle).

Philadelphia’s Nico Batum returned to action after missing five games with a hamstring injury and connected on three 3-pointers in 19 minutes off the bench.

The Rockets and Bulls outrebounded the Embiid-less Sixers by a combined mark of 95-66 over the weekend, but Philadelphia still split those games and the two before that in Miami and Orlando.

76ers Head Coach Nick Nurse said his postgame message to the team was a positive one:

“I said listen, that was a difficult road trip. And without Joel [Embiid] the whole way, I think that I kind of said I was looking forward to it and we needed it. And I’m glad that we got out of it 2-2, right? I think any of the wins on that road trip were going to be hard, and we were able to pick off two of them. And I thought we fought really hard in the other two.”

“I thought we made a lot of progress,” added Tobias Harris. “We grew and developed as a team through those games.”

Tuesday is the final meeting of the three-game regular season series between the Bulls and Sixers. The first meeting was Dec. 18 in Philadelphia, a 108-104 victory for the Bulls.


The Bulls got a game-high 24 points from leading scorer DeMar DeRozan and an additional 20 points from Coby White on Saturday. All five starters scored in double figures, including Andre Drummond (15), Alex Caruso (14), and Patrick Williams (13). Drummond added a game-best 23 rebounds. While starting for the injured Nikola Vučević, Drummond has grabbed at least 15 boards in each of the past three games.

The Bulls posted a 9-5 record in December.

On Monday, they assigned another injured player in Zach LaVine (foot) to the G League in order for him to practice with the Windy City Bulls.


LaVine (right foot inflammation), Vučević (left adductor sprain), Torrey Craig (right plantar fascia sprain), and Lonzo Ball (left knee surgery) remain out for the Bulls.

As of early Monday evening, the 76ers listed only De’Anthony Melton (back; lumbar spine soreness) - and not Joel Embiid - as out for Tuesday’s game.


Tyrese Maxey

  • Maxey scored a team-high 20 points with a game-high seven assists, plus one steal, in 36 minutes at Chicago.

Tobias Harris

  • In 34 minutes of play, Harris tallied 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and one blocked shot.

Paul Reed/Kelly Oubre Jr.

  • Both players started and scored 11 points for the Sixers. The duo also combined for six steals, as Reed came away with four takeaways.

De’Anthony Melton/Nico Batum

  • Melton matched Reed with a game-high four steals against the Bulls.
  • Melton and Batum each made three 3-pointers to contribute nine points apiece.


76ers Head Coach Nick Nurse on Nico Batum’s return…

“It was good. I mean, it was on a fairly limited minutes restriction, right? I think 18 to 20 was the limit we were trying to run him in about five-minute spurts, but he certainly had a couple of shots, quick-release 3-balls, made a couple good passes. It’s good to have him back out there.”

Batum, himself, after the game…

“I feel great. We lost the game obviously, but I’m just trying to ease into the game and get back into rhythm.”


Tuesday’s game is a 7 p.m. ET start in South Philadelphia.

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus, NBA TV

Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic


Both squads will wear their traditional Icon Edition uniforms on Tuesday: Sixers in royal blue and Bulls in red.



By: Matt Murphy

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