PHILADELPHIAAn already agonizing first-round playoff series worsened for the Bulls in Fridays Game 3 against the 76ers.
Having lost All-Star point guard Derrick Rose for the remainder of the postseason to a torn left ACL injury in Game 1, center Joakim Noah, the heart and soul of the squad, turned his left ankle with 7:57 remaining in the third quarter of a tightly-knit contest.
While pushing the ball on a fast break, Noah stepped on Sixers All-Star swingman Andre Iguodalas foot and suffered the injury, leading to cheers from the home crowd, then boos after he got up and hobbled to the bench under his own power.
Following a timeout, during which he tested out the ankle under the watchful eye of the teams trainers, Noah returned to the contest and knocked down his two free-throw attempts, but it became evident that he was laboring and limped off the court and into the locker room with 6:46 remaining in the quarter.
Noah returned to the game with 10:05 remaining in the fourth quarter and even knocked down one of his patented "Tornado" jumpers, but it was clear that he lacked mobility and was in pain, so with 7:59 to go, he exited the game for good.