The first quarter started with both teams unable to score. The first score came by Joakim Noah three minutes into the game, and with 2:55 to play the score was 11-10 Hawks. Luol Deng asserted himself at that point scoring six points in the final three minutes to lead the Bulls to a 21-17 first quarter lead. The Bulls started slow, but improved to a solid 47.4% from the field, while the Hawks shot just 36.8% from the field. While the Hawks struggled shooting, they did do a solid job on the glass, out-rebounding the Bulls 12-8 (5-1 OR).
The second quarter started much better as both offenses found their rhythm, with the Hawks shooters finding their stroke. Lou Williams, who got his first start of the year, hit a pair of threes early in the second quarter, and the Hawks got out on the break. The fast-break scores, most notably a lob from Lou to Josh Smith and a Lou posterization of Kirk Hinrich, brought the Philips crowd into the game for the first time. The Hawks fed off that energy and kept running, jumping out to a 53-37 halftime lead.
Lou led the Hawks with 14 points, and Al Horford added 12 points and seven rebounds as he kept the Bulls off the boards. Kyle Korver had 11 points on 3-of-5 from three including a buzzer beater at the end of the half. The Hawks shot the lights out in the second quarter, improving their shooting percentage from 36.8% in the first to 52.4% thanks to a 15-of-23 (65.2%) shooting in the second.
The Hawks continued to dominate in the third quarter pushing their lead to as much as 25 and finished with a 78-54 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Josh Smith and Al Horford each had six points in the quarter as the Hawks continued to shoot the ball well going 52.6% from the field in the third. Atlanta’s defense continued to stymy the Bulls offense, forcing Chicago to shoot just 35% in the third.
Atlanta cruised through the fourth quarter on their way to a 92-75 victory. The Hawks were able to rest their starters much of the fourth without giving up much of their lead. Atlanta finished the game shooting 49.4% from the field and pounded the Bulls on the glass, out-rebounding them 45-31 (12-6 OR). After the game, head coach Larry Drew said, "This was our most complete game."
Al Horford led the Hawks with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Lou Williams, who started for the first time in 173 games, had 16 points, Jeff Teague had 11 points and led the team with eight assists.
The Hawks improve to 16-9 and move a game and a half up on the Bulls for third in the Eastern Conference. They have three days off before taking on the Pistons on December 26.
For the Chicago point of view be sure to check out Blog a Bull.