Preview: Hawks at Bulls

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[March 28, 2016]  The Chicago Bulls are not playing like a team that wants to stay in the playoff race. The Bulls will try to turn the momentum and remain within shouting distance of the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference when they host the surging Atlanta Hawks on Monday.

Chicago dropped back to .500 with their third straight loss on Saturday and sits two games behind the eighth-place Detroit Pistons in the East. Each of the last three losses have come against teams out of the playoff race, including an embarrassing 111-89 setback at Orlando on Saturday. ďI think itís just a team thatís a little bit lost in terms of going out there every night knowing what it takes to win,Ē Bulls swingman Mike Dunleavy bluntly told reporters. ďWe give off the impression of beaten down, but I donít think anybodyís given in right now. I just donít think weíre good enough.Ē The Hawks have certainly looked good enough of late and tried to do the Bulls a favor with a 112-95 win over the Pistons on Saturday.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBATV, FSN Southeast (Atlanta), CSN Chicago

ABOUT THE HAWKS (44-30): Atlanta sits a half-game ahead of the fourth-place Boston Celtics and just 1 1/2 games clear of the sixth-place Charlotte Hornets in a tight bunch that also includes the Miami Heat. The Hawks have won three straight and 13 of the last 16 while showing off a renewed focus on the defensive end and held the Detroit Pistons to 38.6 percent from the field in Saturdayís triumph. Atlanta is in the process of rediscovering the offense that served it well in last seasonís run to the top of the East and buried 13 3-pointers on Saturday, with seven different players connecting on at least one.

ABOUT THE BULLS (36-36): Chicago is searching for answers for its lack of performance and is coming up empty. ďItís not just one little thing here or there,Ē Dunleavy told reporters. ďItís not on the defensive end or the offensive, itís both. Itís just a lot of stuff. To say itís like one thing weíre not doing right and that would solve everything, thatís just not the case.Ē The Bulls will play their next four games and seven of the next eight against teams competing for playoff spots in their respective conferences, including contests against Indiana and Detroit directly above them in the East.

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BUZZER BEATERS

1. Hawks F Paul Millsap left Saturdayís game with a head laceration that required stitches and is day-to-day.

2. Bulls F Taj Gibson is doing everything he can to help his team and is averaging 13.5 points on 64.2 percent shooting in the last six games.

3. Atlanta took each of the previews three meetings this season by an average of 17.7 points.

PREDICTION: Hawks 108, Bulls 89

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