There will be at least one more game played at Phillips Arena in Atlanta this season as the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Chicago Bulls Sunday evening by a final margin of 100-88. The victory for the Hawks in front of their home town fans knotted up the second round series at 2-2 as Atlanta would take the contest over in the final 12 minutes of play.
The Bulls offense would be stuck in neutral during the fourth quarter as Atlanta exploded for 33 points in the period. Joe Johnson led the way for the Hawks with 24 points while Josh Smith racked up a double-double including 23 points. Derrick Rose also recorded a double-double as he led all players with 34 points but had far too little help from the rest of his roster for Chicago to win the game.
Atlanta would hold the advantage as time elapsed in the opening period. With 33 seconds to play Jamal Crawford hit a shot a foot from the hoop putting his team on top 28-26 at the end of the quarter. The two clubs would exchange the lead back and forth throughout the second until Joe Johnson buried a 25 foot trey down the stretch. As the two teams left the floor when the game reached the half the Hawks would hold a razor-thin lead at 47-46.
The Bulls trailed for most of the third until they made a run in the period’s closing moments. Carlos Boozer drove the lane putting the ball up and in the cylinder with four seconds on the clock and Chicago had the edge heading into the fourth with the score 69-67. With 8:41 left in the game the two teams would be deadlocked at 84-84 when Atlanta took over the game on both ends of the court. The Hawks would go on a 16-4 run in the contest’s final minutes winning the game handily and drawing even with their opponents in the Eastern Conference Semi-Final series.
Joe Johnson knocked down 24 points, 5 assists, 1 rebound and 1 steal. Josh Smith recorded a double-double with 23 points, 16 boards, 8 assists, 2 blocks and 1 steal while Al Horford scored 20 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, a block and a steal. Jeff Teague had another strong night as the starter at the point guard slot for the Hawks as he put up 12 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal while Jamal Crawford came off the bench with 12 points, 2 steals and a rebound.
Rose scored 34 points, dished off 10 assists, 4 rebounds and a steal in the loss for the Bulls. Boozer added 18 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists while Luol Deng had 13 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. The two teams will meet again in Chicago on Tuesday night for game five of the series.