Even without Derrick Rose the Chicago Bulls are showing that they are a formidable team as they continue to lead the Eastern Conference. Atlanta got a healthy dose of some red hot Chicago shooting in a 98-77 loss Wednesday night at Philips Arena.
The Hawks got out of the gate early leading by as many as eight points in the first quarter. Chicago outscored Atlanta 33-19 in the second to take a 54-42 advantage at the intermission. The Hawks began the second half on a 10-2 run but Chicago answered back with more long range marksmanship and cruised home to the victory.
Josh Smith once again led the Hawks with 19 points and seven rebounds. Jeff Teague added 13 points and eight assists while Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams finished with 12 and 10 points each.
Luol Deng led the Bulls with 22 points and was 5-8 from three-point range. Chicago made its first seven three-point attempts and finished 9-16 in the game. Carlos Boozer added 20 points and nine rebounds while Taj Gibson finished with 19 points and six boards off the bench.
Atlanta has now lost two straight but remain just a half game behind the Pacers for fifth place in the East Standings. The Hawks will enjoy a much needed day off on Thursday before hosting the Knicks on Friday and heading to Philadelphia on Saturday.