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Hawks close out preseason with 97-81 win over Bulls

Good riddance to the preseason!

NBA: Preseason-Atlanta Hawks at Chicago Bulls Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks used a big fourth quarter to secure a 97-81 win over the Chicago Bulls in their final preseason tune up.

Neither team was able to garner much separation over the first three quarters of the game but Atlanta went to work in the fourth. The Hawks converted 12 of 20 field goal attempts in the final quarter and outscored the Bulls 29-19. They pushed the lead to as many as 18 points before coasting home for the victory.

Mike Budenholzer indicated earlier this week that he would use this game as an opportunity for a full dress rehearsal. All five of Atlanta’s regular starters played between 27 and 29 minutes. Atlanta went 10 deep over the first three and half quarters before emptying the bench in the game’s final moments.

Dwight Howard led the way for the Hawks with 16 points and 15 rebounds in 29 minutes. He was 5 for 11 from the field and 6 for 9 from the free throw line which is something Atlanta would take every night.

Kyle Korver also finished with 16 points and was 4 for 8 from three-point range. Korver also tied for the team-lead with six assists. Kent Bazemore also had a nice night finishing with 15 points and nine rebounds.

Box Score bullets

  • Atlanta shot 47 percent for the game and were 8 for 25 from three-point range. They finished the game with 33 assists on 40 made baskets but did turn the ball over 19 times.
  • The Hawks held the Bulls to just 31 percent shooting including 4 of 22 from beyond-the-arc. Chicago was able to stay close by going 19 of 23 at the free throw line.
  • Mike Muscala was the first big off the bench finishing with six points, three rebounds and an assist in 16 minutes. Muscala has had a nice preseason and could open the season in the rotation. Mike Scott has been slowed by a sore knee and didn’t enter the game until late in the fourth quarter.
  • Atlanta used a rotation that featured the five starters along with Muscala, Malcolm Delaney, Tim Hardaway Jr, Thabo Sefolosha and Kris Humphries.
  • Edy Tavares and Josh Magette were the only DNP-CDs for Atlanta

The Hawks will open the regular season next Thursday at home against the Washington Wizards.