Deng helps Bulls down Atlanta
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Luol Deng poured in a game-high 30 points and
grabbed six rebounds to lead Chicago over Atlanta, 105-97, at Philips Arena.
Kirk Hinrich added 22 points for the Bulls, who have won five of their last
six and remain the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Ben
Gordon scored 15 and dished out seven assists and Chris Duhon donated 11
points off the bench.
Chicago finished 47 percent shooting from the floor.
“Tonight was tough,” Deng said. “We were a little bit tired because we had a
tough game last night. When it came time to win the game, we got focused and
we got stops.”
Josh Smith posted 24 points and pulled down 12 boards for the Hawks, who have
dropped six in a row and eight of nine. Marvin Williams chipped in 16 with
eight rebounds, Tyronn Lue netted 15 and Josh Childress scored 12 in defeat.
Atlanta shot 46 percent from the field.
“We had a good first half, and we had a good second half, they just made
shots,” Smith said. “Deng went off, and Hinrich hit some big shots for them.
It was just a great team effort for them.”
Chicago used a 12-4 run midway through the first quarter to take a 27-22 lead,
but Atlanta cut to within 32-31 at the conclusion on a jumper and two free
throws by Lue.
Gordon and Deng combined for 22 of the Bulls’ points in the frame.
Things went back-and-forth for most of the second until Childress drained a
three-pointer to put the Hawks up three at the 4:24 mark and later extending
their lead to seven on Salim Stoudamire’s running jumper.
Duhon, though, hit a trey as Chicago trailed 56-52 at halftime.
The Bulls opened the third with a 12-4 spurt — capped by Deng’s jump shot —
to take a 64-60 lead, and stayed on top throughout to enter the fourth with a
It remained tight in the final frame and was deadlocked at 80 on Williams’
layup early on. Then, Chicago embarked on a 10-2 run and took its biggest lead
of the game at 90-82 with 5:50 to play.
Atlanta could only get as close as four the rest of the way, while the Bulls
pulled away in the final two minutes.
Chicago has won 11 straight over Atlanta, including six in a row at Philips