FINAL: Bulls 113 Atlanta 97.(Bulls 18-28, 7-16 on the road)
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Lopez: 20. Hawks: Schroder: 18.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: LaVine: 9. Hawks: Dedmon: 11.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Grant 6 Hawks: Schroder: 5.
CCI 24 SECONDS COMMENTARY: One of the most complete games of the season as the Bulls led wire to wire. I accept the Hawks are the Hawks. I totally get it but the Bulls came to play and this was a terrific ballgame. The Bulls recognized the interior post play of Robin Lopez on Miles Plumee and went to the big man from Stanford early and often. Lopez finished with a game high 20 points going 9 of 13 front the field. Lopez is shooting 69% from the field the past five games. Atlanta ran Lauri Markkanen off the three point line but in the process allowed “ The Flying Finn” to dunk, six-count em’ - six times, as the rookie sensation scored 19 points.
CCI GAME BALL OF THE NIGHT GOES TO: Ryan Arcidiacono (two way contract) scored his first NBA points in his second NBA game. He drilled two 3s and finished with 8 points - 4 assists and 0 turnovers in 22 minutes. He was called up from Windy City after Kris Dunn entered the NBA concussion protocol program.
Ryan was leading the G -League in minutes played averaging nearly 40 per game and top five in assists at eight per contest. Incidentally, Antonio Blakeney who has seen time with the Bulls (two way contract) leads the G-League in scoring at a whopping 35 per game.
CCI STAT OF THE NIGHT: 31. 31 as in assists on 40 baskets. The ball movement flowed. The pacing was terrific and it moved side to side. The Bulls are in the top five in assists averaging 26 per game.
CCI 2nd STAT OF THE NIGHT: Atlanta: 11-48 3 point field goals. Trust me, it could have been worse. Much worse. At one point, Atlanta was 5-40. They came in seventh best in the NBA.
CCI 3rd STAT OF THE NIGHT: 10. Ok, I’m a bit giddy, but when you win on the road I can use my creative expression of joy! The Bulls have now drained ten or more 3 point field goals in ten straight games.
INSIDE THE LOCKER-ROOM: Markkanen is handling the rock, running the floor in transition and his court awareness is superb. I asked Lauri about that aspect of his game: “I’m getting more and more comfortable in doing that and my teammates trust me, so that helps a lot.”
NBA NEWS AND NOTES
The Rockets ended Golden State’s 14 game road win streak. The combo of Harden, Paul and Capela are 17-0. Chris Paul 33 points and 11 boards.
The Pelicans improved to three games over.500 (24-21) and three over .500 at home (12-9) beating Memphis. The combo of Davis and Cousins provided 45 points, 22 rebounds and 7 assists. Jrue Holiday scored 27 points and assisted on 8 hoops. Nola Head Coach Alvin Gentry went with an eight man rotation. The Pelicans reside in seventh place in the West.
The Thunder embarrassed the Cavs in Cleveland scoring 148 points. 148! Seriously? Most allowed ever by a LeBron James team. Wheels are off. Swirling questions surrounding the team and direction of the team from the coach to the draft pick they hold from Brooklyn that could be used in a blockbuster trade. Stay tuned and get your popcorn!
The 76ers blew out the Bucks by 22. Milwaukee played without Giannis who is resting a sore knee. From @clevismurray, Khris Middleton (26) is the oldest Buck to record a triple-double since Drew Gooden (30) in 2012.
An excruciatingly painful defeat for the Hornets as Miami’s Kelly Olynyk‘s free throw with 0.2 gave the road Heat a win in Charlotte 106-105. Miami moves to 27-19. Up next: Houston. Dwight Howard recorded his 692nd career double/double in the loss.
No Butler. No Crawford. No problem for Minnesota as they beat the Raps in Minnesota. Andrew Wiggins from Toronto scored 29 for the Wolves.
Utah scored 76-1st half points and beat the Clippers.
A scenario that repeats itself as the Blazers topped Dallas as Lillard and McCollum combine for 57 points.
Always a pleasure and Go Bulls!