Bulls Win Fourth Straight Game
Chicago 111, Atlanta 99 (F)
CHICAGO, Jan. 28 (Ticker) -- Joe Johnson did everything he could to help erase a 24-point deficit, but the Atlanta Hawks could not stop Ben Gordon down the stretch.
Gordon scored 10 of his 23 points in the final 2 1/2 minutes as the Chicago Bulls held off the Hawks, 111-99, for their season high-tying fourth straight victory.
"I was really being more assertive on both ends of the court," Johnson said. "Then my teammates started finding me whenever I was open. I would trade it, though, for the win."
Kirk Hinrich scored 18 of his 22 points in the first half to help the Bulls take a 62-39 lead into the break. Chicago held an 84-60 advantage after a jumper by Luol Deng with 2:41 left in the third quarter before Johnson led a furious comeback.
"I thought we got a little tired after playing sensational defense for three quarters," said Bulls coach Scott Skiles, whose team also won four in a row from November 20-29. "Then Johnson started getting hot and they got close."
Atlanta pulled within 86-72 entering the fourth quarter, then whittled the deficit to five points twice, including 97-92 on a layup by Johnson with 5:24 to play.
"Even at halftime we knew we would come back and make a run," Johnson said. "We just executed better and then got it down to five, then they got some back and it hurt us."
Darius Songaila countered with a layup and Hinrich a jumper. After Johnson nailed a runner to make it 101-94 with 3:15 to go, Gordon made three straight baskets, giving Chicago a 107-94 cushion on a teardrop in the lane with 1:16 remaining.
"Both teams got really tired out there. That's because we were playing until exhaustion," Gordon said. "They played last night and we played last night. It really showed up in the fourth quarter."
Deng finished with 18 points and the resurgent Tyson Chandler added 10 and 14 rebounds for the Bulls, who shot 54 percent (46-of-85) from the field as they defeated the Hawks for a fifth straight time.
"I know I am a big part of the team," said Chandler, who has averaged 12 points and 14 rebounds during the Bulls' winning streak. "When I've stepped up, it seems like everyone else has stepped up in these last few games."
Al Harrington and Zaza Pachulia scored 13 points apiece for Atlanta, which shot 40 percent (38-of-95).