NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, January 3rd (All times eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (4-1) at Chicago Bulls (4-1), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Hawks just knocked off one of the top teams in the NBA last night and look to do the same this evening against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center.
Atlanta will be out for a measure of revenge against a Bulls squad that eliminated the Hawks in six games during last year's Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Hawks will be tuned up for this one and just handed the Miami Heat their first loss of the season with Monday's 100-92 victory down in south Florida. Joe Johnson posted 21 points and both Al Horford and Tracy McGrady scored 16 points in the win. McGrady had 13 points alone in the fourth quarter and the Hawks shot 47.6 percent from the floor, hitting 9-of-16 shots from beyond the arc in the process.
"Until we can bring that type of effort on a consistent basis, you'll see two different ball clubs," said Hawks coach Larry Drew. "We have to become a more consistent ball club."
Jeff Teague scored 15 points for the Hawks, who suffered their first loss of the season at Houston on Saturday and finished with a season-low 10 turnovers. The Hawks will close out a three-game road trip tonight before hosting the Heat Thursday at Philips Arena.
The Bulls have won three in a row since their only loss of the season, and are coming off Sunday's 104-64 blasting of the Memphis Grizzlies. Carlos Boozer had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Ronnie Brewer also scored 17 points and reigning MVP Derrick Rose delivered 16 points and six assists.
"We just had to keep playing," Rose said of blowing out the Grizzlies. "In this league, nobody cares about your feelings. When you have a team like that, you just have to put them away."
Luol Deng contributed 11 points for the Bulls, who improved to 4-1 on the season and will hit the road for three games after Tuesday's home tilt versus the Hawks. Chicago will visit Detroit, Orlando and Atlanta on the upcoming trek.
Chicago newcomer Richard Hamilton was a late scratch from the game with a sore left groin and is questionable for tonight. Guard C.J. Watson is doubtful due to a sprained left elbow.
The Bulls won two of three matchups with Atlanta in the regular season last year, but the Hawks are 9-4 in the past 13 meetings. The Hawks have dropped 11 of their previous 15 regular-season trips to the Second City.
01/03 10:33:58 ET