Atlanta Hawks Jamal Crawford said after game “If that was the best shot the Bulls had to offer, than we are good.” Well last night’s game was a bigger shot then in game 2. The MVP Derrick Rose had a career high to give the Bulls 2-1 lead.
The Atlanta Hawks (44-38) had the series switch to their home to face Chicago Bulls (62-20) for game three of their seven game series. The After battling back in game two to even things up, they came out and took game three to take back home court advantage. The Hawks had their crowd rocking, but they could not take advantage of that as the Bulls jumped out to an early lead.
Chicago went on a 9-3 run to open the first quarter that was capped off with a Keith Bogans three-pointer. The Hawks bounced back to get within one-point with Jeff Teague scoring nine points in a row. The Bulls answered by scoring the next five-points with Derrick Rose scoring a three-pointer, and a jumper to give them a 20-14 lead.
Jamal Crawford and Josh Smith made back-to-back buckets to get the Hawks within four-points. Taj Gibson made a free-throw and Derrick Rose made a jumper give the Bulls a 29-22 lead with .39 seconds left in the period. Zaza Pachulia made a late free-throw, but the Bulls had a 29-23 lead to end the quarter.
C.J. Watson opened the second quarter with four straight buckets to take a ten-point lead. Marvin Williams made a free-throw and jumper to get the Hawks close 33-26. Kyle Korver made a three-pointer and Taj Gibson made back-to-back hook shots to give the Bulls a 42-29 lead. Atlanta called a timeout, and after that Joe Johnson made a three-pointer to cut the Bulls lead to ten-points.
Kyle Korver made Luol Deng made back-to-back three-pointers and Derrick Rose made a jumper to give the Bulls a 54-35 lead with 2:49 left in the half. The Hawks ended the half with an 8-2 run, but the Bulls went into halftime with a 56-43 lead.
The second half ended with Jamal Crawford getting a technical foul after he argued with a ref about a call that he did not get. Crawford went up for a late three-pointer and thought he had enough contact for the ref to blow the whistle.
With Jamal Crawford getting a technical foul with no time left the Bulls opened the third period with a free-throw from Derrick Rose. Rose also hit a three-pointer and Keith Bogans hit one also to give the Bulls a 63-45 lead. The Hawks scored the next six-points to cut into the Bulls lead 63-51.
Derrick Rose made a pair of layups to give the Bulls a 69-53 lead. Josh Smith made five straight points to cut the Bulls lead down to 13-points. The Bulls was up by 18-points after a pair of Taj Gibson free-throws. Derrick Rose made a jumper to give the Bulls an 80-61 lead. Jeff Teague made a pair of free-throws to close out the quarter, but the Bulls had an 80-63 lead.
The Hawks were down by 17-points to open the final period, and went on a 6-2 run to cut into the Bulls lead making it 82-69. The Hawks got a couple of baskets from Al Horford to cut the Bulls lead to 11-points.
The Bulls went on an 11-0 run with Derrick Rose scoring eight of those points with back-to-back three-pointers. Kyle Korver capped the run off with a three-pointer of his own to give the Bulls a 97-75 lead. The Bulls had a 22-point lead with Josh Smith and Hilton Armstrong made a one free-throw apiece to cut the Bulls lead to 20-points.
The game was well in hand with the Bulls having such a big margin, but Derrick Rose stayed in the game until it was over.
Derrick Rose led the Bulls with career playoff high 44 points. He also had seven assists and five rebounds, and he was the only Bulls starter to score in double-digits. Joakim Noah had 15 rebounds with five blocks with only two points.
Taj Gibson scored 13 points with 11 rebounds to lead the Bulls bench in scoring. Kyle Korver made 3-4 three-pointer to score 11 points.
Jeff Teague scored 21 points to lead the Hawks. Josh Smith scored 17 points with 13 rebounds and four blocks. Marvin Williams, Al Horford and Joe Johnson scored 10 points apiece.
The Bulls now lead the series 2-1 and have to play another game in Atlanta before they go back to Chicago for game five. The Bulls will play game four on Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 8:00 PM (EST).