Hawks top Bulls with late surge, even seriesMay 9, 2011 - 4:17 AM Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Josh Smith nearly posted a triple-double while Joe Johnson and Al Horford both eclipsed the 20-point plateau, as the Atlanta Hawks evened their Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Chicago Bulls with a 100-88 victory in Game 4.
A game that featured 17 lead changes and 16 ties turned on its head in the final 4:04, when Atlanta scored 16 of the game's final 20 points.
Smith scored 11 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and added 16 rebounds and eight assists for the Hawks, who got 24 points from Johnson and 20 from Horford.
"I just stayed aggressive. I saw some cracks in the defense where I had opportunities," said Smith. "I did a good job of not settling, and when I'm able to do that for my team it helps us out extremely well."
Derrick Rose had 34 points and 10 assists, but shot just 12-of-32 from the field in the loss, sending the series back to Chicago with the series tied, 2-2.
"Put this game on me," Rose said. "I had two turnovers at the end. [Now] it's a series."
Game 5 is scheduled for Tuesday.
Rose exploded for a career-high 44 points in Game 3's 99-82 drubbing, but the league MVP had no answer down the stretch on Sunday.
With the game tied 84-84, Jeff Teague drove for the go-ahead layup, then dished to a trailing Horford in transition for another deuce.
Rose missed coming out of a timeout and turned it over the next time down, and Smith found Horford on the right block for a lay-in and a 90-84 lead with 2 1/2 minutes to go.
With his shot not falling, Rose tried drawing a foul on Jamal Crawford outside the three-point arc and appeared to do so when Bennett Salvatore blew his whistle. But the referee ruled he blew the play dead inadvertently, and a jump ball was administered.
"I didn't think it was a foul. Having watched the replay after the game, it was a foul and I should have called it," Salvatore admitted. "I made a mistake ... I was wrong."
Smith got the better of Joakim Noah for possession and fed Horford for a dunk to continue the onslaught.
Kyle Korver missed a three-pointer at the other end, and Teague finished off a 10-0 flurry with another driving bucket with 1:26 remaining.
The only negative in the dominating home stretch for Atlanta was Smith failing to throw down an alley-oop dunk. Nevertheless, the Hawks came away with the win and head coach Larry Drew had nothing but praise for the high-flying Smith.
"When he plays the way he plays tonight, we're pretty good," Drew said. "He has a unique ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor. When he plays energized basketball, he's really good. And tonight he was that."
It was a one-possession game the entire first quarter, and the Hawks, backed by Johnson's nine points, took a 28-26 lead after 12 seesaw minutes.
The Hawks were in front, 40-33, midway through the second and kept Rose in check up to that point. But after starting 1-for-5 from the floor, Rose missed his sixth shot and put back the errant leaner with a tomahawk dunk.
Atlanta still held a 47-46 edge at halftime, and an 11-2 spurt, sparked by Smith's three-point play, gave the hosts their biggest lead of the third quarter, 60-52.
Chicago responded with the next seven points to keep it close, and Carlos Boozer scored six points on a quarter-ending 8-0 run that gave the Bulls a 69-67 advantage.
The win ended the Hawks' nine-game home losing streak in the second round, dating back to a May 13, 1996 victory against Orlando...Teague and Crawford both scored 12 points for the Hawks, who shot 65 percent from the field in the fourth quarter and 49 percent overall...The Bulls made 41 percent of their shots, but went just 3-of-16 from behind the arc...Boozer ended with 18 points while Luol Deng totaled 13 points and seven rebounds for Chicago, which got 11 rebounds from Noah.
- CHICAGO: 88
May 8 10:44 PM
- CHICAGO: 69
End of 3rd
May 8 10:04 PM
- CHICAGO: 46
May 8 9:16 PM
- CHICAGO: 26
End of 1st
May 8 8:41 PM
- CHICAGO: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
May 8 8:11 PM
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