Chicago 106, Atlanta 81

Chicago, Feb. 20 (AP) -- Scott Skiles wasn't too excited after watching his team put on a defensive clinic in the third quarter.

Chris Duhon scored 17 points and the Chicago Bulls held the Atlanta Hawks without a field goal in the third quarter in a 106-81 victory Tuesday night.

It was the first time the Bulls held a team without a field goal in a quarter. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time a team was held without a field goal for an entire quarter was Feb. 3, 2006, when the Jazz blanked the Kings in the fourth period. Atlanta was outscored 28-8 in the third quarter and finished the period 0-for-16 from the field.

Skiles thought the Bulls have played better defense this season.

"Our defense was good, not great. We have played better defense than that stretch. We were good and they just missed some shots. When they had opportunities, we fouled them and they're weren't able to get the shot off,'' said Skiles.

A big reason to the Hawks' offensive woes was Chicago limiting Atlanta's Joe Johnson to nine points. Johnson, who came in the game averaging 25.1 points, was held to 2-of-12 shooting.

"We did a good job. We've done that in stretches all year, we're just trying to find it more consistently,'' said Kirk Hinrich, who covered Johnson.

Salim Stoudamire gave the Hawks their first basket of the second half on a three-point play with 10:34 left in the game.

"We just couldn't score. That's the bottom line,'' said Josh Childress. "I don't think they turned up the defense at all. It was just us. We couldn't get it going.''

Hinrich and Luol Deng added 16 points each for the Bulls, who won for just the second time in seven games.

Leading 48-43 at the half, the Bulls opened the third quarter by outscoring Atlanta 20-3. Hinrich made a three and Duhon's free throw put Chicago up 67-46 with 4:17 left in the third quarter.

The Bulls played much of the third quarter without Ben Gordon who suffered a left thigh bruise when he was fouled by Royal Ivey early in the quarter. Gordon never returned and finished with six points. Gordon said after the game he was available if needed.

Childress scored 16 points to lead the Hawks, who shot 35.6 percent from the field.

Hinrich had 11 of his 16 points in the first half and Deng added 10.

P.J. Brown finished the game with 11 points and nine rebounds for Chicago and Malik Allen added 12 points off the bench.

Notes: Chicago forward Andres Nocioni missed his seventh straight game with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. ... Hawks guard Tyronn Lue missed the game with a sore left hamstring. ... The Hawks are the first team to fail to convert a field goal in a quarter since the Kings did it in February, 2006.


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