In their third meeting of the season, the Chicago Bulls defeated the Atlanta Hawks 111-100. It was another example of one step forward, two steps back for Atlanta. It has been the story of the season thus far.
The night got off to an inauspicious start when De'Andre Hunter (acute asthma) joined Onyeka Okongwu (hamstring tightness) on the injury report. To make matters worse, the short-handed Hawks were unrecognizable during the game.
Atlanta turned the ball over 13 times in the first half (they average 12.9 turnovers per game). Trae Young was not himself, shooting 0-5 deep, missing three free throws, and committing six turnovers.
Despite not having Okongwu, Atlanta's frontcourt played well. Clint Capela and John Collins held their own on the boards and in the paint. However, Atlanta's defense had no answers for DeMar DeRozan. The veteran forward led Chicago with 26 points in his 1,000th career game.
Additionally, Chicago's perimeter players deserve credit for their smothering defense and limiting turnovers on offense. Don't look now, but Chicago has won three straight games and has a pivotal road game against the Indiana Pacers tomorrow night.
Chicago improves 22-24, while Atlanta falls to 24-24 on the season. After tonight's game, Atlanta flies to Oklahoma City, where they play the Thunder on Wednesday night.
Trae Young - 21 PTS, 13 AST
Dejounte Murray - 20PTS, 7 REB
Clint Capela - 16 PTS, 12 REB
DeMar DeRozan - 26 PTS, 6 AST
Zach LaVine - 20 PTS, 6 REB
Patrick Williams - 18 PTS,10 REB