CHICAGO, Jan. 21 (Ticker) --
Needing to bounce back, the Chicago Bulls
were handed the perfect opponent.
scored 23 points and dished out nine assists as the
Bulls posted their eighth win in nine games, a 95-85 victory
over the Atlanta Hawks.
NBA TV highlights from |
Carrying a seven-game winning streak into Boston, the Bulls
dropped a 92-83 decision to the Celtics on Wednesday. With five
straight wins at home, they were more than happy to host the
Hawks, who entered with the league's second-worst record at
"Give them credit, they are turning into a good team and they
are jelling at the right time," Hawks forward Antoine Walker
said of the Bulls. "They will fight to be a playoff team all
the way to the end."
Trailing, 22-14, with 2:38 to go in the first quarter, Atlanta
used a 9-1 burst to forge a 23-23 tie with 11:15 remaining in
the second period. But Chicago went on a 17-7 run in which
scored seven points to open a 40-30 advantage
with 5:41 to go.
"I think some of our guys took this game for granted," said
Bulls forward Antonio Davis
, who scored a season-high 17 points.
"It's Atlanta and they have one of the worst records. Our
guys took it too easy. You can't do that in this league. We
(threw) away some big leads and we were lucky to win."
The Hawks drew within 74-71 with a third quarter-ending 19-7
burst. But the Bulls sealed the win when Hinrich scored six
points during a 17-5 spurt that gave Chicago a 95-78 cushion
with 4:21 to play.
"We played down to the competition," Bulls center Eddy Curry
said. "It's a problem we have had all season. But we put it
together in the fourth quarter and got the win."
Hinrich recorded his 22nd consecutive double-digit game and
Curry scored 18 points for his 21st straight for Chicago, which
held its opponent under 100 points for the 24th straight time.
"We didn't play a very good game," Hinrich said. "We lacked
some energy, but it's still good to get a win."
The win did little to awe Bulls coach Scott Skiles
, who was more
impressed with the crowd of 18,815 that made it to the United
Center despite a snowstorm.
"We are happy we won the game for the fact that so many fans
braved the elements," Skiles said. "It was a below mediocre
performance and frankly, I am embarrassed by it. ... When you
look at the stat sheet, if they make their shots, they beat us
like a drum. They beat us on the glass and we had our feet on
the ground like our shoes were filled with concrete."
Walker scored 25 points and Al Harrington
added 21 for the
Hawks, who have lost eight straight on the road.
"I saw us start to do things in the third quarter, but the other
three quarters, they really outplayed us," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson
said. "We threw the ball away a lot, and we can't do