Ben Gordon screamed in frustration.
Luol Deng waved off reporters.
Drew Gooden uttered something unprintable.
Kirk Hinrich ducked out a door, perhaps in search of Louis Williams.
The speedy 76ers guard, along with Rodney Carney, Andre Iguodala and former Bull Kevin Ollie, came up with big play after big play in a stunning fourth-quarter comeback Friday night at the United Center.
With a chance to pull into a tie with New Jersey and Atlanta for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, the Bulls instead coughed up an 18-point fourth-quarter lead in a head-scratching 110-106 loss.
The locker room was as dejected a scene as has been witnessed all season.
"To give up 40 points in the fourth quarter at home is unacceptable," interim coach Jim Boylan said. "They just started to beat us off the dribble. They just wore us down. Their penetration became fairly easy. No matter what we tried, we weren't able to contain them, especially Williams."
Trailing 88-70 with 11 minutes 7 seconds remaining, the 76ers scored on a remarkable 18 of their final 22 possessions.
Carney scored 12 of his 18 points in the fourth, hitting all three of his three-point attempts. Iguodala added 11 of his game-high 25 points. Williams repeatedly torched Hinrich off the dribble and had eight points and three assists in the fourth. Ollie, the former Bull, had several big defensive plays.
"Going into the fourth quarter, the Bulls' coach tweaked his lineup a little bit from the first half," 76ers forward Reggie Evans said. "He didn't play [ Aaron] Gray; he played the kid from LSU [ Tyrus Thomas]. They went small ball.
"I thought that could be a golden opportunity. That was our biggest thing; they changed the lineup. We went small ball and ran them out."
Carney gave the 76ers their first lead since the opening basket at 103-102 with a three-pointer with 1:59 left. Ollie then took a charge from Thabo Sefolosha, and Williams blew right past Hinrich for a jumper and three-point lead.
Deng broke free on a baseline cut for a dunk with 74 seconds remaining to make it 105-104. But Williams again burned Hinrich for a layup and three-point 76ers lead.
Gooden scored on a driving layup with 51.2 seconds remaining to make it 107-106. Boylan switched Sefolosha onto Williams, and Sefolosha's long-armed defense forced a Williams miss with roughly 30 seconds remaining.
But on the ensuing Bulls possession, official Courtney Kirkland called Larry Hughes for pushing off with his forearm to gain leverage on Williams as the 76ers' bench was screaming to take a foul.
"To get an offensive foul when they're trying to take a foul is tough," Hughes said. "I didn't think I was overly aggressive."
The offensive foul led to Iguodala's two free throws and a three-point 76ers lead with 19.5 seconds left. Ben Gordon forced an attempt with 8.9 seconds left that wouldn't have tied the game anyway because his foot rested on the arc.
Deng's 21 points led the Bulls, who blew a double-digit lead to the Wizards at home recently and also wasted a strong game from Sefolosha, who scored 20.
"It's not just this game," Hughes said. "It's the game against Washington. We can't continue to …have lapses. We're basically giving games away."
76ers 110, Bulls 106
Bulls cough it up to 76ers
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