Preview: Bulls at Hawks
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[February 25, 2014]
The Chicago Bulls have persevered
through numerous injuries to key players more adeptly than the Atlanta
Hawks, which is why the teams have passed one another while heading in
opposite directions in the Eastern Conference standings. The Hawks will
try to narrow the gap by one game when they host the Bulls on Tuesday.
Chicago, which is in fourth place in the East, has won four straight in
the series including the first two meetings this season.
The Hawks are expected to be without forward Paul Millsap (knee),
further depleting a frontcourt that is already missing its top three
centers in Al Horford, Pero Antic and Gustavo Ayon, but they won
without Millsap on Saturday, beating New York 107-98 to snap an
eight-game skid. "It was very important," forward Mike Scott told
reporters. "We were down Paul, down so many bodies. It was just
great for everyone to come out and play hard and finally get a win."
The Bulls also have endured their share of injuries, most notably
losing point guard Derrick Rose for another full season, and Jimmy
Butler missed Sunday's 93-79 loss at Miami with a rib injury and is
considered questionable to return against the Hawks.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, WGN (Chicago), SportSouth (Atlanta)
ABOUT THE BULLS (29-26): Chicago has been a streaky team and strung
together its third five-game winning streak of the season before
falling to Miami. The Bulls were less than thrilled with their
effort against the Heat, who were without LeBron James (broken nose)
but still held Chicago to 35 percent shooting. Center Joakim Noah
and forward Taj Gibson combined for 40 points and 35 rebounds
against Miami and will look to duplicate their performance in the
last meeting with Atlanta, in which they combined for 43 points and
[to top of second column]
ABOUT THE HAWKS (26-29): Atlanta, which has steadily slid down the
Eastern Conference standings since the brunt of the injuries hit, is
tied for seventh with Charlotte but still has a four-game cushion
over ninth-place Detroit. It's remarkable the Hawks are still in the
mix considering they've used 16 different starting lineups —
including a different one in each of the last six games. Scott has
been the latest player to emerge, as the second-year forward has
scored 20 and 30 points in the past two games.
Hawks SF Kyle Korver has extended his NBA-record streak to 124
consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer, 35 games longer than
the previous mark.
Chicago is 21-6 when holding opponents under 90 points, including
a 12-1 mark since the start of 2014.
Nine different players have recorded double-doubles for Atlanta
this season, tied with Boston and Brooklyn for the most in the NBA.
PREDICTION: Bulls 98, Hawks 94
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