The Bulls face the Atlanta Hawks to close out a three game road trip. The Hawks are closing out a tripleback(3 games in 3 days) after playing a vigorous overtime game last night and a triple OT game the night before.
The Hawks came out swinging, as Atlanta forward, Josh Smith, frustrated the Bulls on all matchups early on. The Bulls were unable to make baskets and Atlanta was slowly, but surely building their momentum in the first half. Josh Smith ended up as the high scorer with 25 points, and adding 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 blocks and 4 steals.
The Bench Mob came on and gave the Bulls a major boost in the second quarter, finally helping the offense and defense build some serious momentum. Unfortunately for the Bulls, Vladimir Radmanovic just would not miss from beyond the arc. He ended up hitting 5/5 from 3pt range for the game. Needless to say, the Bull’s attempts at recovering fell short.
Rookie Jimmy Butler was given more minutes to gain some experience, and try to help the Bulls spark something on the floor. Near the end of the game, his effort, despite the rookie mistakes, was the only real energy on the floor. The Hawks flat out outplayed the Bulls until garbage time.
John Lucas III led the Bulls in scoring with 16 points in 20 minutes of play. He may have been the only bright spot, putting some doubts to rest if he could be a more than a capable NBA backup and bench scorer in a pinch, while CJ Watson recovers from a sprained elbow.
The Bulls fall to a 7-2 record and lose Atlanta 109-94.
Next Game: Monday January 9th at the United Center vs the Detroit Pistons, 7:00PM tip-off.
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