The Chicago Bulls appeared to have this game in hand, leading by ten points with 3:02 remaining in the 4th quarter.
The Atlanta Hawks had other plans. The Hawks blew by the Bulls on a 19-4 late fourth quarter surge, to steal a game in the United Center, 119-114. It left the Bulls gawking at the scoreboard in disbelief.
Chicago had a 110-100 lead, their largest of the game with 3:02 left. All they had to do was get a few stops. They couldn’t. The Hawks, one of the best shooting teams in the league, kept firing, and connected in a barrage of shots. They made three treys to climb back to within a point, at 110-109.
Dennis Schroder made a basket to give Atlanta a slim lead at 111-110 and the Bulls were in shock. The Hawks blew by the Bulls to take this game.
Jimmy Butler scored 40 points in a losing effort. His backcourt mate, Dwyane Wade had 33 points. Most telling is that the rest of the Bulls were basically no-shows on the offensive side. Doug McDermott had ten points in the first half and he all but disappeared. Nikola Mirotic had nine points on a quiet night. Taj Gibson had ten boards and six points.
Butler and Wade extended themselves and took over the game for Chicago, and the team was holding on in the final minutes when the Hawks went on a shooting spree.
All five starters for Atlanta scored in double-figures led by guard Dennis Schroder’s 24 points. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 17 off the bench. They shot 52% from the field and had 29 assists to the Bulls’ 18. Atlanta scored 41 points in the fourth quarter.
They outplayed Chicago in the stretch drive to earn a good road win.