Deng, Bulls continue mastery of HawksJan 24, 2007 - 5:22 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- It was business as usual for Luol Deng, P.J. Brown and the Chicago Bulls.
Deng scored 18 points and Brown finished with 15 as the Bulls defeated the Atlanta Hawks, 94-86, for their ninth straight victory over lowly Atlanta.
The Bulls snapped a two-game losing streak and won for the fourth time in their last six games. They also improved to 18-6 at home and 14-1 against Eastern Conference clubs at home.
"We played better tonight than we have in the last two games," Chicago coach Scott Skiles said. "Our defense was better."
"They outhustled us to the ball and made more plays than we did," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said. "That was the difference in the game. They made all the hustle plays."
The Hawks, losers of three straight, have not beaten the Bulls since April 9, 2004. The Bulls, who improved to 19-8 overall against Eastern Conference opponents, won despite getting 12 points from Ben Gordon, who entered averaging 21.3 per game.
"I have to say it was just an average game we played," Gordon said. "I don't think we played that great, but we got the win and we'll take it."
Chicago clung to a 51-49 third-quarter lead when it embarked on an 11-2 run to pull away. Gordon's jumper started the outburst with 5:23 left and his three-point play capped the run to extend Chicago's lead to 62-51 with 4:03 remaining in the quarter.
The Bulls increased their lead by outscoring the Hawks, 7-0, to start the final quarter.
All five Chicago starters finished in double figures for the first time since a 106-91 win over the Indiana Pacers on December 11.
"I thought everybody contributed tonight," Gordon said. "The young guys got some playing time and that was good for them. Hopefully we can build on this, because we have two more tough games before we hit the road."
Brown's 15 points were a season high along with his 37 minutes, 48 seconds of playing time.
Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 29 points while Marvin Williams finished with 22.
"We never really got into a rhythm tonight, and it seemed tough for them as well," Johnson said. "It was just a tough and ugly game. We kind of got back into it in the third quarter, but we expended too much energy to keep it up."
Atlanta, which finishes its four-game road trip with stops in Boston on Wednesday and Orlando on Friday, shot 1-of-9 from 3-point range.
"It's been a carbon-copy game in and game out," Johnson said. "Somehow, some way, we need to get out of this nasty funk we are in."
FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
ATLANTA 20 17 22 27 86
CHICAGO 27 14 29 24 94 FINAL
HIGH SCORERS: ATL - JOE JOHNSON 29, MARVIN WILLIAMS 22, JOSH
CHI - LUOL DENG 18, P.J. BROWN 15, ANDRES
Jan 23 10:59 PM
CHICAGO 70 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 23 10:21 PM
CHICAGO 41 HALFTIME
Jan 23 9:37 PM
END 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
ATLANTA 20 20
CHICAGO 27 27 END 1ST QTR
HIGH SCORERS AFTER 1ST QUARTER
ATL - MARVIN WILLIAMS 10, JOSH SMITH 6, JOE
CHI - P.J. BROWN 9, BEN WALLACE 8, LUOL DENG 4
Jan 23 9:08 PM
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