The Atlanta Hawks beat the Chicago Bulls for the 7th straight time, but it took a big time comeback for the Hawks to get a 119-114 victory Wednesday night in Chicago. The win improves Atlanta’s record to 27-19. The Hawks are currently 4th in the Eastern Conference standings. With the loss the Bulls drop back under .500 at 23-24. Chicago is still holding onto the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls are a game ahead of the 9th place Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bulls got off to a quick start as they scored the first seven points of the game. With 4:58 left in the quarter the Bulls found themselves with a double digit lead at 21-11. The Hawks went on a 9 to o run at that point and cut the Bulls lead to just one point at 21-20 with 2:42 left to play in the quarter. The Bulls then made their run as they finished the quarter by outscoring the Hawks 8 to 2. The 1st quarter ended with the Bulls up 29-22.
The 2nd quarter was very even for the teams as the Bulls managed to outscore the Hawks, but just by one point in the quarter 30-29. Every time the Hawks made a dent in the Bulls lead, Chicago was able to battle back. The closest Atlanta was in the quarter, was three points at 44-41 with 5:46 left in the quarter. After Atlanta got that close, the Bulls scored the next six points to make it a 50-41 game. The Hawks knocked just one point off the Bulls lead after that. Chicago went into halftime with a 59-51 lead.
The 3rd quarter played out very much like the 2nd quarter did, but this time it was the Hawks that outscored the Bulls 27-24 in the 3rd quarter. With 3:51 left in the quarter, Thabo Sefolosha hit a 3-pointer and the game was tied at 72 all. After another tie at 74 all, the Bulls went on a 9 to 4 run to end the quarter and took a 83-78 lead headed into the final quarter.
Early in the 4th quarter any time the Hawks cut into the lead the Bulls were able to re-establish the lead. After Dwight Howard made a pair of free throws, Atlanta was within four points at 95-91 with 6:22 left in the game. Chicago scored the next seven points of the game to build a 11 point lead at 102-91 with 5:11 left to play. Atlanta did cut the Bulls lead to five points one more time, but the Bulls managed to get the lead back to double digits at 110-100 with 3:01 left to play. Atlanta made one more run in the game and this time it was a 19 to 4 run to end the game and take the victory 119-114.
Six Atlanta players scored in double figures lead by Dennis Schroder with 24 points. Schroder also handed out a game high 9 assists. Paul Milsap scored 21 points while Thabo Sefolosha added 18 points. Atlanta’s other two starters Dwight Howard and Kent Bazemore each scored 16 points. Howard also grabbed a game high 12 rebounds. Tim Hardaway Jr. came off the Atlanta bench to score 17 points.
Jimmy Butler (40 points) and Dwayne Wade (33 points) accounted for 73 of the Bulls 114 points in the game. The only other Bulls player to reach double figures was Doug McDermott. McDermott came off the Bulls bench to score 10 points. Butler also led the Bulls in rebounding grabbing 9. Butler also tied with Rajon Rondo and Jerain Grant for the team lead in assists with 3.
The Hawks get a day off as they return home to host the 26-20 Washington Wizards Friday night. After playing back to back games the Bulls also get a day off as they’ll host the 16-30 Miami Heat on Friday night.