CHICAGO, Oct. 12 (AP) --
The Baby Bulls got some game.
led the Chicago Bulls with 16 points, but it was rookies Tyson Chandler
and Eddy Curry
who had the fans oohing and aahing Friday night as Chicago beat the short-handed Atlanta Hawks 103-90.
"That was really fun," said Curry, who had seven points on 3-for-3 shooting and four rebounds in 12 minutes. "I think it gave people a glimpse of things to come."
Hawk Jason Terry takes flight.
Chandler drilled the first shot he took, a 20-footer, and finished with nine points on 3-of-6 shooting in 22 minutes.
, who signed with Chicago as a free agent last summer, added 15 for the Bulls, who never trailed. Charles Oakley
had a team-high nine rebounds.
's 18 points led the Hawks, who were playing their third game in four nights and were without Theo Ratliff
and Alan Henderson
. Henderson has a sore right knee, and Ratliff has a hip flexor that will keep him off the court until Monday.
had 14 for the Hawks, who shot just 37 percent. Toni Kukoc
had 12, and DerMarr Johnson
"We have a long way to go, but I'm pleased with what I saw," Bulls coach Tim Floyd said. "I recognize this is just an exhibition game, though, and we've got a long way to go."
The Bulls may not be a whole lot better this year, but they're certainly going to be more entertaining.
Chicago is gambling heavily on Chandler and Curry, teenagers who aren't even six months removed from high school. The Bulls used the fourth pick of the draft on Curry, and then traded former No. 1 pick Elton Brand
to the Los Angles Clippers for Chandler. Chandler was taken No. 2 overall.
"I'm truly excited for where this franchise can be four to five years from now, when these guys mature physically and have a better understanding of the game," Floyd said before the game.
"Who knows? Maybe it happens before. They've got tremendous potential. I've no doubt they're going to be All-Star-caliber players someday."
They showed flashes of that talent in their first NBA game. The first time Chandler got his hands on the ball, he swished in a 20-footer as if he'd been doing this for years.
And in the fourth quarter, the youngsters really put on a show. It started with 5:25 left, when Kevin Ollie
missed a layup in heavy traffic. Curry came up from behind and effortlessly stuffed the ball.
After a timeout, he forced an Atlanta turnover. On the other end, he grabbed a rebound one-handed, landed, reached up and laid the ball in for another dunk.
"We haven't seen that since I've been here," Floyd said. "It's kind of fun to watch. I'll admit even I smiled."
Chandler followed with a pair of back-to-back dunks, and the crowd roared.
"I was just trying to play with a lot of energy," Chandler said. "We're trying to get the crowd into the game. They've been missing that the last couple of years. We want to feed off the crowd and win games for the whole city."
But the rookies showed their age at times, too. Before the game, Curry was sprawled out on the floor of the Bulls locker room like a kid watching TV after school in his living room.
After dunking with 2:42 left, Chandler got a technical foul for hanging on the rim. When a timeout was called a few seconds later, he jumped up and bumped chests with Dalibor Bagaric
as he left the court.
"I knew I was going to be really nervous," said Curry, a Chicago native who had to get 21 tickets for the game. "I knew I was going to go through a lot of mixed emotions. But it was everything I thought it was going to be."
Before the game, 17 Chicago police officers and firefighters were honored. Each got a Bulls jersey from a player, and then a moment of silence was held for the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. ... Atlanta's Dion Glover
was called for a flagrant foul for wrapping up Chandler in the fourth quarter. ... Kukoc got a scare just before halftime, slipping on a wet patch on the floor and taking a hard fall. He was back in the game for the third quarter.