The Chicago Bulls topped the Atlanta Hawks at the United Center Tuesday night by a final margin of 95-83 in a contest that would be in doubt until the Bull’s took the game over during the final 12 minutes of action. Atlanta may go down in this match-up but it will not be without a fight as they battled Chicago tough for 36 minutes taking a brief lead in the third before falling. The Bulls take a 3-2 series lead in the second round Post Season match-up as Derrick Rose led all players with 33 points while Luol Deng knocked down 23 more for the night. Once again Jeff Teague came up huge for Atlanta as he has been pushed into a starting role taking over for the injured Kirk Hinrich and was the scoring leader for his team in the game with 21 points.
Chicago would jump out to a healthy lead during the opening period. Shooting guard Keith Bogans sank a shot two feet from the basket with 1:23 left in the quarter and when the period concluded his team held a 32-21 advantage. Atlanta would find their shooting touch during the second and would pull to within four points of their opponents down the stretch. However Carlos Boozer would hit a pair at the line with 34 seconds remaining and as the two teams left the floor it was the Bulls on top at the half with the score 48-42.
The Hawks would threaten throughout the third and with 1:45 on the clock Josh Smith drained an outside jumper giving his team the edge at 64-63. Their time on top would not last for long as the Bulls would wrest the lead back from them by the end of the quarter making it a 69-68 affair. The Bulls would take the contest over in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter leaving Atlanta behind in the dust.
Derrick Rose put up 33 points, 9 assists and 2 rebounds in the victory for his squad. Luol Deng scored 23 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a block while Carlos Boozer racked up a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Bogans added 11 points, 2 rebounds and a steal while Taj Gibson came off the bench and had 11 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds and a block.
Teague dropped 21 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds while Josh Smith scored 16 points, 7 rebounds an assist and a steal. Joe Johnson added 15 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds and a steal. while Zaza Pachulia came off the bench with 13 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist. Al Horford had a double-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks in the loss. Chicago now takes a 3-2 series lead and the action moves back to Phillips Arena in Atlanta for game six on Thursday.