NBA Game Summary - Atlanta at Chicago
(Monday, March 21st)
Final Score: Chicago 105, Atlanta 91
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Eddy Curry scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed six rebounds as Chicago cruised past Atlanta, 105-91, at the United Center.
Kirk Hinrich ended with 12 points and 10 assists for the Bulls, who have won two straight and are now just a 1/2 game back of Cleveland for the fifth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Ben Gordon had 17 points off the bench and Tyson Chandler pulled down a game-high 13 boards in the win.
"I felt pretty good out there," Curry said. "It was a good effort by our guys and we will take the win. We really want to protect our home court. We're a pretty good team on the road and it is important for us to protect our court."
Josh Childress led the way for Atlanta with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Josh Smith chipped in 16 points in the losing effort. The Hawks have dropped five straight and are losers in 24 of their last 25 road games. Al Harrington had 15 points.
With the score tied at 14-14, the Bulls used a 9-0 spurt to pull ahead midway through the first quarter. Luol Deng capped the flurry with four straight points, staking Chicago to a 23-14 lead.
The Bulls eventually led 27-21 at the end of the frame.
Chicago's lead ballooned to double digits, 38-27 following Othella Harrington's jumper at the 7:46 mark of the second quarter. Atlanta was able to get within four on an Al Harrington bucket moments later, but the Bulls still carried a 55-44 lead at the break.
The Hawks never really threatened in the third session and still trailed 83-72 heading into the final frame. However, they opened the fourth with a 7-3 surge to close the gap to 86-79. Boris Diaw capped the run with a pair from the charity stripe.
Chicago responded with six straight points from the free throw line, though, to quickly go back up 92-79 with 6:15 left to play and put the game away.
The Bulls led by as many as 18 down the stretch as they cruised to victory.
"We have a chance to do something special for Chicago and we are not taking that for granted," Curry added.
Chicago activated Deng from the injured list earlier Monday and placed seldom-used center Jared Reiner on the IL with a left hip flexor strain...The Bulls improved to 3-0 this year against the Hawks as they shot 48 percent from the floor and hit 25-of-29 from the free throw line...Atlanta fell to 3-31 on the road this season. They went 34-of-78 (44 percent) on field goal attempts and hit just two three-pointers.
03/22 00:22:17 ET