The Hawks and Bulls fought down to the final minute last night in a game that would impact the playoff chances for both clubs. While the Hawks fought well, the Bulls escaped Philips Arena with a victory, 107-103.
The Bulls moved into 4th place in the East standings at 30-26, while the Hawks fell into the eighth and final playoff spot with a 26-30 record, just 3.5 games ahead of Detroit.
Former Hawk Kirk Hinrich made six free throws down the stretch for the Bulls. Mike Dunleavy had 22 points to lead Chicago's scoring attack, while Joakim Noah had 20 points and 12 rebounds and Carlos Boozer had 17 points and 11 rebounds.
The Hawks opened up an early 14-point lead, but could not hold up against a Bulls comeback in the second quarter to trail at halftime. From then on, the clubs battled back and forth as the teams were never more than four points apart for almost the entire second half.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau relied heavily on his starters, playing Dunleavy for all but nine seconds of the game and playing only eight players. It worked, though.
Jeff Teague led the Hawks in scoring with 26 points while dishing seven assists. Former Bull Kyle Korver had 16 points while nailing four three pointers. and Shelvin Mack added 17 points. Elton Brand got heavy work in place of several injured Hawks, playing 42 minutes to lead the club while finishing with seven points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks.
The Hawks expect to be without the injured players again tonight, including Paul Millsap, when they face the Celtics (19-39) at 7:30 PM in Boston.