December 29, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, United States; Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) scores against the Atlanta Hawks in the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Zach LaVine scored 25 points and Nikola Vucevic and Coby White posted double doubles as host Chicago Bulls extended their winning streak to five games with a 131-117 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.
Winning 12 points in Atlanta on Monday, the Bulls swept the home-and-back series while sending the Hawks to a penalty kill for their third straight loss and fifth loss in six games.
Vucevic contributed 16 points and 20 rebounds for his third consecutive double-double and fourth in five games. White added 17 points and 12 of Chicago’s 38 best assists.
DeMar DeRozan (20 points), Ayo Dosunmu (14), Javonte Green (14) and Tyler Cook (10) also finished in double digits for the Bulls, who led up to 27 points. DeRozan added eight assists.
Trae Young scored a high 26 points to play with 11 assists for Atlanta in Game 1 of a six-game road trip. Plagued with numerous absences due to NBA health and safety protocols for COVID-19, the Hawks lined up a roster that included just four players in regular rotation and had many additions that signed hardship contracts of 10 days.
Atlanta’s Clint Capela had 18 points and 15 rebounds. Chaundee Brown Jr. (16 points), Cam Reddish (14), Malcolm Hill (13) and Cameron Oliver (13) were next. The Hawks were successful 47.8% of their field goal attempts but allowed the Bulls to do 61.9% of the floor.
A scorching 69.8 percent effort from the field propelled the Bulls to a 74-53 halftime lead. Chicago had 24 assists out of 30 goals scored in the first 24 minutes while also counting four double-digit players, led by LaVine with 15.
Chicago escaped behind a 22-3 run to end the half. After the Hawks came close to 52-50 on a Brown Jr. layup with 6:04 left in the second quarter, Atlanta only managed three free throws heading into intermission.
The Bulls will look to win the Hawks’ Seasonal Series when the teams meet on January 24 in Atlanta. The Bulls and Hawks are scheduled to close the series on February 24 in Chicago.
– Media at field level