Instead, they set an ignominious low by putting up only 58 points - including just five in the second quarter - as the Bulls steamrolled them by 39 points at the United Center, 97-58. Only a garbage-time layup by Jeff Teague with eight seconds left kept the Hawks from setting a franchise record for scoring futility.
The loss was Atlanta's sixth in its last seven games, and its fourth road loss in a row. The Hawks shot an appalling 29 percent from the floor, and made just two of 21 shots in the second quarter.
The Hawks had just 20 points through the first half on Sunday in going down to defeat. By comparison, the Atlanta Falcons scored 20 points in the first half of the NFC divisional playoff Sunday en route to their 30-28 victory. Anytime there's trouble outscoring the football team, it's a bad night.
Rookie Mike Scott was the only Hawks to score in double figures, with 10 points.
Hawks coach Larry Drew didn't mince words afterwards:
"From where we were as a team to where we're at right now, we have lost all sense of team on both ends of the floor...Right now we've flatlined. Not just from a physical standpoint. Mentally we have flattened. I've got to find a way to resuscitate this team."
He was bewildered to why this has happened - ignoring the obvious reason that the Hawks have been backing down from any physical play as of late. This was quite evident in the rebounding numbers, as the Bulls grabbed 59 rebounds to the Hawks' 39. The Hawks' rebounding woes place them a dismal 24th in the league in rebounding.
The Bulls also blocked 13 of Atlanta's shots, to further intimidate the Hawks.
Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 20 points, and posted 13 rebounds. Joakim Noah led all players with 16 rebounds. Taj Gibson had five of the Bulls' 13 blocks.
The recent slide has dropped the Hawks to 21-16 and sixth place in the Eastern Conference. They now possess a losing road record at 9-10.
Atlanta will host the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, January 16 back home at Philips Arena.