Tuesday, February 25, 2014
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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 28 boards.

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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.

BUZZER-BEATERS

  1. 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.

  2. Chicago is 21-6 when holding opponents under 90 points, including a 12-1 mark since the start of 2014.

  3. 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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