Playoff Box Score: Bulls Fall to Hawks in Game 4
By Benjy Lipsman in News on May 9, 2011 3:00PM
We're used to seeing the Bulls come from behind to overpower another team in the final quarter and walk off the court victorious. It's strange to see another team do that that to Derrick Rose and company. But the Atlanta Hawks used a monster fourth quarter to beat the Bulls 100-88 and even the series at two games apiece.
Most of the game was a tightly contested battle between the two clubs. At the end of a fast-paced first quarter, the Hawks held a two point lead, which the Bulls cut to one at halftime. While the Hawks extended their lead for a time in the third quarter, a Bulls run gave them a two point lead heading in to the final quarter. After trading leads for much of the first six minutes, the Hawks shut the Bulls down. Tied at 84 apiece with 4:30 remaining, the Hawks closed out the game with a 16-4 run. More troubling, most of those points came from inside the paint, as the Bulls interior defense broke down.
Derrick Rose led the Bulls with 34 points, but shot just 12 of 32 from the field. The team was ice cold from downtown, hitting on only three of 16 attempts from behind the arc. Sharp shooter Kyle Korver was more ice pop than hot sauce on Sunday night, missing his first six shots and finishing with just two points on one of eight shooting. Luol Deng scored only 13, although Carlos Boozer found his offensive rhythm and contributed 18. But overall the Bulls shot just 41 percent, while they were unable to effectively contain Joe Johnson, who scored 24. A line-up change that gave the Hawks a bigger front court worked, as Josh Smith added 23 and Al Horford shot nine of 11 while scoring 20. The Hawks were much more effective underneath the basket, scoring in the 56 points paint and nearly equaling the Bulls in rebounding.
While the Hawks adjustments worked to their advantage in game four, we know Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is already working on his for game five. Tied at 2-2, the series shifts back to Chicago on Tuesday night (7 p.m TNT, ESPN 1000).