Due to an official scorers' error, Atlanta must replay the final 51.9 seconds of a game it had won. Unfortunately for the Hawks, each of their last 12 meetings with the Chicago Bulls have been legitimate.
After commissioner David Stern took a win from the Hawks, they'll look to snap a 12-game losing streak against the Bulls when the teams meet Sunday.
Stern ruled Friday that Atlanta (15-17) must replay the final 51.9 seconds of its Dec. 19 game against Miami because the official scorers ruled incorrectly that Shaquille O'Neal fouled out.
The Hawks left the court with an apparent 117-111 overtime victory over the Heat, but that win was taken away. They will have another chance to get it at the March 8 replay, when the teams will finish one game before playing their regularly scheduled contest.
"It's always something with the Hawks," Atlanta guard Tyronn Lue said.
The replay will start with the Hawks leading 114-111, at the point after O'Neal's disputed sixth foul. Atlanta was also fined $50,000 for being "grossly negligent."
On Friday night, the Hawks lost 102-98 in overtime to Washington, as Atlanta went from .500 to two games under that mark in one day. Atlanta, though, still holds the eighth - and final - playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"Bottom line is we're here to try to make the playoffs," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "You've got to live with it. We'll face those 51 seconds in March."
A matchup with lowly Chicago (14-20) would appear to be a good chance for Atlanta to bounce back, but the Hawks have lost 12 straight to the Bulls since the start of the 2004-05 season, averaging just 90.7 points during that span.
On Nov. 27, Atlanta set a season low in points en route to losing 90-78 at Chicago. Joe Johnson was the Hawks' top scoring threat in that game, finishing with 21 points.
Johnson has settled down nicely after being held under 10 points in consecutive games, averaging 26.0 in his last two contests. He leads Atlanta with 21.5 points per game.
Hawks second-leading scorer Josh Smith, meanwhile, is coming off one of his best games of the season, finishing with 35 points and nine rebounds against the Wizards. In November's matchup with the Bulls, though, Smith was held to 12 points on 2-of-14 shooting, although he blocked six shots.
Chicago forward Luol Deng led all scorers in that game with 22 points, but he has missed the Bulls' last three games with left Achilles' tendinitis. Deng, averaging 17.9 points per game, is uncertain for Sunday's contest.
Andres Nocioni, who has been filling in for Deng, brushed off flu-like symptoms to score 27 points in a 100-97 win at Philadelphia on Friday night. The fourth-year forward is averaging 16.1 points in the 10 games he has started this season.
Chicago's Kirk Hinrich, Tyrus Thomas, Chris Duhon and Ben Wallace have also been battling the flu bug.
"If you want to get it (flu), just go in the locker room," said Bulls interim coach Jim Boylan, who is 5-3 since taking over for Scott Skiles.
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