Markkenen dunks

Bulls dominate Hawks, 113-97

Chicago improves to 18-28 on the regular season

The Bulls Saturday broke their one-game losing streak with an end to end, dominating 113-97 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

The Bulls now head for New Orleans at 18-28. Atlanta is 13-32.

The Bulls were led by Robin Lopez with 20 points on nine fo 13 shooting and Lauri Markkanen with 19 points even as he missed his four three pointers. Markkanen was strong finishing at the basket. Bobby Portis added 14 points, Justin Holiday 13 and Nikola Mirotic 10. Zach LaVine didn’t shoot well with eight points, but led the team with nine rebounds. The Bulls had an impressive 31 assists on 40 baskets. Atlanta was 11 of 48 on threes.

The Bulls took a 13-point lead in the first five minutes, never lost their lead and for the most part maintained the double digit margin after late in the second quarter. An opening burst to begin the fourth quarter gave the Bulls a 25-point lead as the Hawks fired away more than 40 three pointers.

Kris Dunn remained back in Chicago recovering from a concussion after a fall against the Warriors Wednesday. Jerian Grant moved in to start with Ryan Arcidiacono joining the team from the G-league. Earlier in the season when the Bull started 1-5, the win was against Atlanta. The Bulls got off to a fast start with Lopez and Markkanen taking advantage of switches and the Bulls scoring inside for a 20-7 lead. Though Denzel Valentine proved an adept playmaker with his ability to get deep on penetration and then pass. The Hawks went with a smaller, quicker group to cut the Bulls lead to 22-18 before the Bulls closed well with fundamental box outs on defense and adept passing from Arcidiacono and a 29-21 lead after one quarter. The Bulls had nine assists on their 10 field goals with Lopez scoring 10 points. The Hawks moved within 39-34 midway through the second quarter with LaVine unable to get going offensively, scoreless in 10 first half minutes. It was Valentine again who got the offense going and Lopez taking advantage inside with a series of rolling hook shots and 16 first half points on eight of nine shooting. The Bulls led 55-38 at halftime as Atlanta was an adventurous two of 23 on three pointers in the first half. Markkanen had nine points and Grant eight points, five assists and five rebounds. The Bulls had 18 assists on 21 baskets.

The Bulls began the second half casually, especially in the backcourt as Dennis Schroder got on a run with eight of the Hawks first 11 points. LaVine finally scored with a three, but was forcing shots. Still, the Bulls held off Atlanta as Lopez made a nice lob pass to Markkanen for a dunk and 65-51 Bulls lead with 6:23 in the third quarter. The Bulls continued to pressure the Hawks on their surfeit of three pointers while Markkanen finished another lob dunk, this one on a Grant pass as the Bulls led 71-59 with 2:45 left in the third. The Bulls went into the fourth quarter leading 77-63 with the Hawks four of 32 on threes. The Bulls opened the fourth quarter with a 13-2 run to take a 90-65 lead with Valentine and Portis threes to take the last doubts about the final results.

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