Tyrese Maxey keys fast start as 76ers pound Bulls 116-91

Tyrese Maxey scored 16 of his 21 points during Philadelphia’s dominant first half, and the 76ers beat the Chicago Bulls 116-91 on Wednesday night.

De’Anthony Melton had 25 points and Tobias Harris finished with 20 as Philadelphia earned a split of its four-game season series against Chicago. Joel Embiid added 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in just over 16 minutes of playing time.

The Sixers (49-23) pulled within a half-game of idle Boston for second in the Eastern Conference behind Milwaukee (52-20).

Philadelphia had won eight in a row before Monday night’s double-overtime loss to Chicago. But the 76ers jumped all over the Bulls in the rematch, opening a four-game road trip with an efficient offensive performance.

Playing without James Harden and Jalen McDaniels because of injuries, the Sixers started the game with a 23-1 run. They shot 48% from the field on the night and had five players score in double figures.

Coby White scored 19 points for Chicago, and Zach LaVine had 16. DeMar DeRozan, who scored 25 points in the prior game, finished with just four points on 0-for-7 shooting.

The Bulls (34-38) had won five of six in one of their best stretches in a largely disappointing season. They remain in 10th in the East, holding onto the last spot for the conference’s play-in tournament.

After the shaky start, Chicago closed to 36-26 on White’s 3-pointer early in the second quarter. But Philadelphia pulled away again before halftime.

Maxey, Harris and Melton each hit a 3 to help the Sixers to a 76-48 lead at the break. Philadelphia shot 62% (26 for 42) from the field in the first half, including 12 for 22 from 3-point range.


Sixers: Harden was sidelined by left Achilles tendon soreness, and McDaniels was ruled out because of right hip soreness. Harden played almost 47 minutes during Monday night’s loss to the Bulls, finishing with five points on 2-for-14 shooting and 12 assists. Coach Doc Rivers said he had no long-term concerns about Harden or McDaniels. ... F P.J. Tucker got the start after he was listed as questionable with left ankle soreness. He finished with five points and three rebounds.

Bulls: G Alex Caruso (left midfoot soreness) was expected to play, but he rested after he experienced some discomfort in warmups. The team said the move was made out of an abundance of caution ahead of its three-game trip.


Sixers: At Golden State on Friday night.

Bulls: At Portland on Friday night.