By E. Marcel Pourtout, Editor
The Atlanta Hawks (23-15) earned a 120-105 home win over the Chicago Bulls (22-13) on Saturday night at Philips Arena. The win was Atlanta second-consecutive victory while the loss snapped Chicago’s six-game winning streak.
Al Horford scored a game-high 33 points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds for Atlanta in the victory. Paul Millsap scored 18 points while Kyle Korver (13) and Jeff Teague (12) were also Hawks’ starters in double-figures. Off the bench, Dennis Schroder had 13 points and a game-high eight assists for Atlanta while Mike Scott scored 14.
Atlanta shot 52.1 percent from the field and made 10 three-pointer attempts. The Hawks had 33 assists in the contest and grabbed 15 steals while forcing 22 turnovers from Chicago.
Five Bulls scored in double figures led by Jimmy Butler’s team-high 27 points along with eight rebounds. Nikola Mirotic scored 24 points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds for a double-double. Derrick Rose scored 17.
“Its obviously a good win for us against a very good team that’s been playing well,” Hawks’ head coach Mike Budenholzer said. “The defensive activity creating 22 turnovers, our verticality, presence at the rim and making things difficult. I thought the pace with which we played, going back at them, the way we moved the ball, moved people, its just all the stuff we talk about.
Horford added that “we understood this was a good measuring stick game for us. They’re a really good team.”
“We dug ourselves a big hole early in the game and the Hawks came out of the gate with more energy than we did,” Bulls’ head coach Fred Hoiberg said. “Turnovers got their confidence up. Our pick and roll defense was not good, to say the least. They were getting whatever they wanted out there.”