The Atlanta Hawks hope to escape Wednesday night's game against the Chicago Bulls then they are going to have to increase their defensive intensity a few notches. The Hawks trail the Bulls 54-42 at the half after the Bulls hit 56 percent of their shots and 7-8 from three-point range.
Atlanta started well enough and led 23-21 at the end of the first quarter. The Bulls came roaring back in the second outscoring the Hawks 33-19 in the period.
Josh Smith was active once again and leads Atlanta with 13 points and five rebounds but is just 5-14 from the field. Joe Johnson has nine points while Jeff Teague and Zaza Pachulia have seven each. Teague handed out five assists in the first half and Pachulia grabbed five rebounds.
Luol Deng hit 5-7 shots in the first half and has 14 points at the break. John Lucas came off the bench to score 10 points and Carlos Boozer has eight for the Bulls. Chicago has a decided edge in bench points outscoring Atlanta 19-6 in the first half.