Hawks vs. Bulls - Recap
The Atlanta Hawks lost to the Chicago Bulls 93-76 at home at Philips Arena. This was the third and final meeting between these two teams this regular season. With the loss, the Hawks dropped to 26-20 on the season and 1-2 in the regular season series with the Bulls. The starters for the Hawks were Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver in the backcourt, DeShawn Stevenson and Josh Smith at the two forward positions, and Al Horford at center. Zaza Pachulia (sore right Achilles) and Louis Williams (torn ACL, right knee) did not play. Devin Harris (sore left foot) did not play. Johan Petro received a DNP-CD (which I remain baffled about given that Pachulia was out). The leading scorer for the Hawks was Josh Smith, with 19 points. He also grabbed 13 boards and dished out five assists, giving him a double-double on the night. Jeff Teague added 16 points. Al Horford also contributed a double-double, with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Kyle Korver had 10 points and six boards, while extending his streak of consecutive games with a made three-pointer to 40 (two shy of Mookie Blaylock's franchise record). The leading scorer for the Bulls was Luol Deng, with a game-high 25 points. In the first quarter, the Bulls outscored the Hawks 24-17. Jeff Teague went down with a right hip contusion, and the Hawks were temporarily left with Jannero Pargo as their only remaining point guard. In the second quarter, Teague returned for the Hawks, and they came back to lead 44-43 at the half. The Hawks finished both the first and second quarters with dunks from Ivan Johnson and Josh Smith, respectively. In the third quarter, Nate Robinson scored 12 points, and the Bulls went on first a 9-0 run (11-2 overall) and then a 6-0 run, and the Hawks headed into the final frame down 69-60. In the fourth quarter, the Hawks were outscored 24-16, and they lost by 17. The only good thing that came out of the fourth was that Coach Larry Drew inserted Mike Scott for the first time, and he was able to play the final 1:37 in front of his former Virginia Cavaliers teammates. I think the key reason the Hawks lost was that they underestimated this Bulls team that was missing three of their starters. They allowed the Bulls to outrebound them and move the ball around without one of their All-Stars this year, as the Bulls had 26 assists on 38 made field-goals. Tough loss for the Hawks in a nationally-televised rematch of their 2011 Eastern Conference Semi-finals playoff series.