Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Sports NewsMayfield's Mutterings: A win by any other name would smell as sweet

Williams, Smith lead Hawks over Bulls

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[March 02, 2010]  CHICAGO (AP) -- Jamal Crawford scored 21 points, Josh Smith added 17 points and a season-high 18 rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks beat the short-handed Chicago Bulls 116-92 Monday night for their fourth win in five games.

InsuranceMarvin Williams had 18 points as Atlanta pulled away down the stretch after its 18-point, second-quarter lead was cut to five early in the fourth.

Williams scored seven during a 9-0 run following a basket by Chicago's Derrick Rose, making it 94-79 midway through the fourth and breaking open a six-point game.

Rose led the Bulls with 24 points despite missing most of the first quarter after hurting his right knee, but it was a long night for a team that had won eight of 11.

Al Horford added 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Joe Johnson scored 14. He delivered 12 in the first quarter as the Hawks grabbed a 34-23 lead, after pouring in nine during overtime against the Bucks.

Already missing center Joakim Noah (plantar fasciitis in his left foot) and forward Luol Deng (swollen left knee), the Bulls got a big scare 4 1/2 minutes into the game. Rose, who banged his left knee late in Saturday's game at Indiana, came up clutching his right one after Atlanta's Mike Bibby collided with him while trying to pick off a pass.

The Bulls then had trouble sustaining a run for much of the night against the Eastern Conference's third-place team.

It was a tough start to a brutal stretch for the Bulls, who host Memphis, Dallas and Utah before visiting Orlando, Miami, Memphis and Dallas. When they Bulls return to the United Center on March 19, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will be there to greet them.

It would help if they had their second-leading scorer (Deng) and top rebounder (Noah), of course.

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With two top players out and Rose missing time in the early going, the Hawks stayed in control for most of the game. They led by 18 in the second quarter and never were threatened until late in the third, when the Bulls started an 8-2 run.

A short jumper by Jannero Pargo and a fast-break layup by Flip Murray off a steal made it 75-68. Pargo then started the fourth with an 18-footer, and after a jump hook by Horford, Hakim Warrick scored to make it 77-72.

NOTES: Noah does not expect to be back this week but hopes to be "able to play when it matters," even if he's not 100 percent. He missed seven straight games at one point in February because of his foot problem. ... James Johnson started for Deng and finished with nine points. ... Taj Gibson had 13 rebounds for Chicago.

[Associated Press; By ANDREW SELIGMAN]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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