Derrick Rose knocked down a game high 44 points while the Chicago Bulls shot 50% (10-20) from three-point range as they pummeled the Atlanta Hawks Friday night 99-82 at Phillips Arena in Atlanta. The win puts the Bulls ahead for the first time in their second round match-up leading by a 2-1 margin. Chicago would score the first six points of the game and pretty much controlled the entire flow of the contest. Jeff Teague who has come huge in this series for the Hawks led his squad with 21 points while Josh Smith racked up a double-double including 17 points in the loss.
Chicago pulled ahead early in the opening period and every time Atlanta would try to climb back the Bulls would pull away yet again. With 39 seconds left in the period Rose hit an outside shot and Chicago would be on top 29-23 at the conclusion of the quarter. The Hawks would fall even further behind in the second as Kyle Korver drained a 20 foot shot with 41 seconds remaining in the quarter and as the game reached the half Chicago held a 56-43 advantage.
If Atlanta had any hopes of making a come-back attempt in the third they would quickly be dashed as they fell deeper into a hole the longer the period progressed. Rose connected on a 13 foot running jumper down the stretch putting his team ahead 80-63 heading into the fourth. The Bulls would hold a double-digit lead for the entire final period and went on to win the game with ease.
Rose was the only starter in double figures for the Bulls as he scored 44 points, dished off 7 assists, 5 rebounds, a block and a steal in the victory. Taj Gibson came off the bench with a double-double as he had 13 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks while Korver added 11 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound and 1 steal.
Teague put up 21 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds and a steal while Smith recorded a double-double with 17 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks and a steal. Al Horford, Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams each scored 10 points in the loss for the Hawks. The two teams will meet again on Sunday for game four of the series.