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NBA: Noah injures ankle as Bulls fall to 76ers

Chicago center Joakim Noah rolled his left ankle in the third quarter of the Bulls' 79-74 NBA playoff loss to Philadelphia on Friday, and left the arena on crutches.

Noah was driving down the lane when he stepped on the right foot of 76ers forward Andre Iguodala. His ankle turned over sharply and he remained on the floor for several minutes in obvious pain.

Noah stayed in the game and made two foul shots before departing for the locker room.

He returned to the game briefly in the fourth, but was clearly hobbled.

After the game he departed on crutches without speaking to reporters and with a support around the ankle.

The Bulls said he had X-rays, but the results were not immediately known.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Noah's status for Sunday's game four wouldn't be known until Saturday.

"He wanted to give it a shot," Thibodeau said of putting Noah back in the game. "You could see he couldn't move. That's the way it is. We've got to get ready for the next one."

The Bulls were already without NBA Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose, who tore a knee ligament in the opening game of the playoffs.

With Noah sidelined, Philadelphia rallied for the victory. Thibodeau wouldn't use Noah's injury as an excuse for the defeat, but Philadelphia coach Doug Collins said his absence made a difference.

"When Noah plays great, he's sort of the soul of their team," Collins said. "And they missed him."


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