The 50-win Bulls are heading home early a year after they reached the conference finals.
"We were on the ropes and we battled," forward Carlos Boozer said. "In the end, it came down to the very last second. So, it's tough. We were right there, given everything, right there. It will be a long summer."
Luol Deng had 19 points and 17 rebounds for the Bulls. Richard Hamilton scored 19 points and Boozer grabbed 13 rebounds.
The Sixers tried to get a laugh by showing the Bulls bench on "Kiss Cam." Noah popped his warm-up jacket toward the camera and the crowd booed the oversized "Chicago" on the big screen.
Noah was one of the top offensive rebounders in the league and the Bulls figured on missing his presence in the middle. Led by Deng and Boozer, the Bulls instead went out and controlled the boards, holding a 49-29 edge early in the fourth.
"This one hurts," Noah said. "We battled. We believed. But in the end, it wasn't enough. I will think about this one all summer."
Notes: The Bulls had a 3-pointer taken off the board right before the first half. ... The Bulls missed 11 of 13 3-pointers. ... The Bulls averaged 80.6 points over the final five games after scoring 100 in Game 1. ... The Sixers had lost their last five playoff series.
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