This was a big win for the Chicago Bulls
(62-20) who have not been to the Eastern Conference Finals since the Bulls had Michael Jordan
, Scottie Pippen
and Phil Jackson
as their coach. The Atlanta Hawks
(44-38) had a chance to extend this series to a game seven, but just they struggled shooting from the field.
Carlos Boozer came out and scored seven of the Bulls first 11-points to begin the game. The Bulls jumped out to an 11-4 lead with Al Horford and Jason Collins made jumpers to get the Hawks within three-points. The Bulls answered with a 8-3 run which gave them a 19-11 lead with 4:20 left in the quarter.
The teams traded baskets and the score was 22-15 until Derrick Rose made a three-pointer to give the Bulls a ten-point lead. Luol Deng made a jumper to push the Bulls lead to 12-points with .59 seconds left. Joe Johnson hit a late jumper for the Hawks to cut the Bulls lead back down to ten, 27-17.
Both teams struggled to score to begin with the second quarter. Kyle Korver made jumper for the Bulls to end the drought at the 10:10 mark. Jamal Crawford made a layup to cut the Bulls lead to single-digits only to have Ronnie Brewer make a jumper to make it a 31-21 game. The Bulls went on a 6-2 spurt that gave them a 39-25 lead.
Atlanta called a timeout then Joakim Noah completed a three-point play, and Luol Deng made a three-pointer to give the Bulls a 42-25 lead. Joe Johnson and Jeff Teague made back-to-back buckets for the Hawks to cut into the Bulls lead and force them to take a timeout. Josh Smith made a three-point play and Zaza Pachulia made a free-throw to cut the Bulls lead to ten-points. The Bulls went into halftime with a 45-35 lead.
Carlos Boozer opened the third quarter with a jumper for the Bulls, and Joe Johnson answered with a jumper of his own to make it a 47-37 game. Derrick Rose made a three-point play and a jumper to give the Bulls a 52-37 lead. The Hawks were forced to take an early timeout then out of the timeout Josh Smith was fouled by Luol Deng and he made both his free-throws.
Jeff Teague made a layup for the Hawks to cut the Bulls lead down to single-digits. Keith Bogans made a three-pointer to make it a 59-45 lead for the Bulls. Carlos Boozer made back-to-back jumpers to give the Bulls a 63-46 lead. Joe Johnson answered with a three-pointer to make it a 14-point deficit for the Hawks.
The Bulls got a three-point play from Omer Asik and a pair of free-throws from Carlos Boozer to give them a 70-51 lead. The Hawks got a pair of free-throws from Jamal Crawford, but the Bulls still had a 70-53 double-digit lead going into the final period.
Josh Smith made a jumper to cut the Bulls lead to 15-points 70-55 to open the fourth quarter. The Bulls went on an 8-0 run that gave them a 78-55 lead. Kyle Korver made a three-pointer then Carlos Boozer and Derrick Rose made buckets to make the score 85-59.
With about five minutes left in the game the Hawks began to empty their bench, and the Bulls did the same. The Hawks went on a 6-2 spurt the made it an 87-65 game with 3:32 left. The Hawks tried to get the lead out of the twenties, but the Bulls just kept scoring as they led by 24 points, 91-67 after Taj Gibson jumper. The Hawks finished with a 6-2 spurt that ended the game with a Bulls twenty point victory.
led the Bulls with 23 points and 10 rebounds for his biggest game of this post season. Derrick Rose
scored 19 points with 12 assists, and Luol Deng
chipped in with 13 points and five steals, rebounds, and assists. Joakim Noah
scored 11 points with just six rebounds.
had another nice game off the bench scoring 10 points.
scored 19 points to lead the Hawks and Josh Smith
scored 18 points. Those were the only two players to score in double-digits as they bottled up Jamal Crawford
, and Jeff Teague
left the game for a bit with a injured wrist.
Chicago won the series 4-2 and will now face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.