PHILADELPHIA -- Joakim Noah was hoping to play in Game 6. He was on the floor before the contest, shooting jumpers and moving gingerly. He was in uniform and available to play but did not see any action Thursday night.
Noah turned his left ankle in the third quarter of Game 3 and ended up sitting out the final three games of the season.
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"I wanted to be out there real bad," Noah said in the locker room. "It's disappointing now. It hurts. I tried everything I could. It was not enough to play a basketball game, though.
"It was disappointing because I know how much we put into this. It's hard. The season's over, and that's tough. We've got to have a good summer and understand the best is yet to come."
Taj Gibson sprained his right ankle in Game 5 but didn't seem to have any trouble Thursday. He played 29 minutes, finishing with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks.
"I felt good. I just pushed it to the limit," Gibson said. "I didn't worry about the pain. I just pushed through the pain and fought."
Deng looks ahead:
Luol Deng isn't sure yet what he will do about the torn ligament in his left wrist. But he's definitely planning to play for Great Britain at the London Olympics this summer.
"I really don't know (how much time I'd need to recover from surgery). I just know I'm looking forward to playing in the Olympics. I'm excited about it. It's something I've wanted to do since I was a kid. I'm going to prepare myself for it."
Assuming he has surgery after the Olympics, Deng likely will miss the start of next season. Derrick Rose already figures to be out early next year due to knee surgery.
"I've got to see how my wrist feels from now going into the Olympics," Deng said. "Then right after the Olympics, I'll make the decision, whether my wrist is good enough where I don't need the surgery or if I need it. I haven't ruled out not getting the surgery.
"I just know I've got the Olympics ahead of me. Since I was a kid growing up, it's something I wanted an opportunity to be a part of. The fact that it's in my hometown that I grew up in, in a country that gave me the opportunity to even be here, I'm looking forward to it."
Whistles heard infrequently:
No matter which side you're on, it was clear that referees in Game 5 let the teams play and were OK with the action getting a little rough.
"It's like you're going back and you're playing outside in the summertime and there aren't any referees," Sixers center Spencer Hawes said at Thursday's shootaround.
"We've all been there, and we know that's the kind of basketball game (the Bulls) want to make it. We look forward to it."
Game 6 featured few stoppages at the beginning. There were no fouls at all until the 4:49 mark of the first quarter when Richard Hamilton was called for a push. The Bulls then got 2 more fouls in the next 13 seconds.
Philadelphia's first foul didn't occur until there was 2:24 left in the opening quarter, when Carlos Boozer finished a lay-in, was fouled by Hawes and completed a 3-point play.
Collins recalls MJ:
Sixers coach Doug Collins threw out another Michael Jordan reference before Thursday's game. Collins coached Jordan from 1986-89.
"When I coached Michael, one of the things he used to always do is the first game of a playoff series, he tried to destroy whoever he was playing against, so he wouldn't want to come back and play anymore," Collins said. "That's the kind of will he would try to throw on the game."
The Bulls' depth got some recognition Thursday. They had three players receive votes for the Sixth Man Award. Taj Gibson placed sixth, Kyle Korver was 10th and C.J. Watson was 12th. The top three were Oklahoma City's James Harden, Philadelphia's Lou Williams and Dallas' Jason Terry.
Center Omer Asik hit the longest shot of his NBA career in the first quarter, knocking down a 22-footer while the shot clock was about to expire. … After suffering through large free-throw deficits for most of the series, the Bulls got to the foul line 15 times in the second half of Game 6, compared to 4 by the Sixers. Of course, Philadelphia won the series with a pair of free throws with 2.2 seconds left. … Luol Deng received a gash on his face that required medical attention in the first half.