Round 2, Game 4 Recap: Chicago Bulls vs Atlanta Hawks

Posted by By at 10 May, at 02 : 03 AM Print

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Chicago was unable to leave Atlanta with a 3-1 lead and a chance to close out the series at home, and will be forced to make one more trip to Philips Arena after their 100-81 loss yesterday. The Hawks came out with the energy they had in the first game of the series and had their best shooting performance since game 1. The Bulls struggled to get into any kind of rhythm offensively and costly turnovers down the stretch proved to be their undoing.

The Hawks had three players score 20+ points, led by Josh Smith who might have played the best game I’ve seen him play since he’s been in the league. He scored 23 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, led the team with 8 assists, and threw in 2 blocks for good measure. More importantly was that he, for one game at least, ditched the outside jumpers that the Philips Arena crowd booed him for taking in the last game. The majority of his points came in the paint, where Larry Drew and Hawks fans would prefer him to operate.

Joe Johnson was 9-14 from the floor, 3-5 from behind the arc, and 3-3 from the free-throw line on the way to his 24 points. He also handed out 5 assists. Al Horford had 20 points to go along with his 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Jamal Crawford came off the bench to score 12. Teague again played well, both offensively and defensively.  He had 12 points on 6-12 from the field, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. More impressive than that was the defensive he once again played on MVP Derrick Rose, causing him to shoot only 38% from the field.

Derrick Rose made only 12 of his 32 shots, mostly due to Jeff Teague’s great defensive pressure on the perimeter and the help of Horford and Smith down low when he was able to get past him. Luol Deng had 13 and Boozer had 18 to be the only Bulls besides Rose in double figures. Taj Gibson came off the bench to score 9 points to go along with 2 steals and 4 blocks, but did not grab a rebound.

Chicago shot 42% from the floor and only 3-16 from 3-pt land, while Atlanta shot 49% and made 4-11 3′s. That and Rose’s inability to finish at the rim were the the main reasons why the Bulls lost and the series is now tied. Game 5 is tomorrow night back at the United Center and the Bulls have home court advantage the rest of the way with game 7, if needed, also being in Chicago. The way the series goes now is a toss up for me. While Atlanta will only get one more home game, they’re probably the more confident team at this point. After a dominant performance in game 3, game 4 was the opposite for Chicago and they will no doubt be hoping the home crowd gives them some energy tomorrow night.

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