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Hat trick of losses for Philly teams

By Aaron Clark, Web Producer
Published On: May 09 2012 07:45:12 AM CDT

It's not a good day to be a Philadelphia sports fan after three squads dropped games Tuesday night.

The Flyers hopes of raising Lord Stanley's Cup were cut short in South Philly as they dropped Game 5 to the New Jersey Devils 3-1.

The Orange and Black were forced to play without star Claude Giroux who was suspended by the league for a hit to the head against Danius Zubrus in Game 4.

Even shorthanded they came out strong, scoring first on a goal by Max Talbot but then fell flat.

Goalie Ilya Bryzgalof allowed two quick goals to let the Devils right back in the game, including a soft goal to New Jersey's David Clarkson that would become the eventual game winner.

Martin Brodeur was strong in goal and has the Devils now advancing to their first Eastern Conference Finals since 2003. The Devils await the winner of the New York Rangers-Washington Capitals series.

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Across the street, the Phillies didn't fair much better.

Lucas Duda hit a tie-breaking, two-out RBI single in the seventh to give the New York Mets the lead and an eventual 7-4 win over the Phillies on Tuesday night.

Hunter Pence homered for the Phillies, and starter Joe Blanton went six strong before allowing the Mets back into the game in the seventh.

The Mets took the lead in the seventh with four two-out runs on four hits, including Duda's single to right off left-hander Antonio Bastardo (1-2) that drove in Wright with the go-ahead run.

Mets closer Jon Rauch shut the door on the Phils for his first save opportunity of the season.

The Phils dropped their fourth in the last five games. They'll look to salvage the series Wednesday night.

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And the Sixers were unable to close out the Chicago Bulls in their first round playoff series.

Luol Deng scored 24 points, Carlos Boozer added 19 points and 13 rebounds, and the Bulls beat the 76ers 77-69 to avoid a first-round playoff exit.

The top-seeded Bulls finally won without point guard Derrick Rose, building a nine-point halftime lead and staying in control down the stretch to pull within 3-2. Game 6 is Thursday in Philadelphia.

It's been a brutal series for the Bulls, with Rose tearing the ACL in his left knee late in the opener and center Joakim Noah spraining his left ankle in Game 3. He sat out his second straight game.

But the Bulls defense came to the rescue, holding the Sixers to a season-low 32.1 percent shooting in the Philly loss.

The Sixers still hold a 3-2 series lead in the best of seven. They'll look to complete the improbable series win Thursday night in Philadelphia.