Bulls bid to continue torrid stretch vs. Hawks

NBA Basketball

The Chicago Bulls aim for their fourth win in a row on Friday when they visit the Atlanta Hawks.

The Bulls will play on short rest after holding on for a 122-113 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Thursday. They also defeated the Brooklyn Nets and Indiana Pacers earlier in the week.

A victory over Atlanta would give the Bulls their longest winning streak of the season. They are hoping to make a late push for a playoff spot after acquiring big man Nikola Vucevic to go along with All-Star guard Zach LaVine.

On Thursday, LaVine set the tone with 22 points to go along with 13 assists. He made a layup and a 3-pointer in the final two minutes to hold off a late comeback attempt by Toronto.

“Zach has done everything he can to impact the group and impact winning,” Chicago coach Billy Donovan said. “Besides scoring, I think he’s working defensively and trying to set guys up and make the right basketball play. He continues to improve and put us as a team in position to win.”

Now the Bulls turn their attention to the Hawks, who saw their four-game winning streak come to a halt with a 131-113 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

Bogdan Bogdanovic scored a team-high 24 points for Atlanta in the loss. Trae Young scored 14 points, but he shot just 6 of 17 from the floor and missed all four of his 3-point attempts.

Solomon Hill said the Hawks need to ratchet up the intensity.

“We can’t go out and not be the more desperate team,” Hill said. “We haven’t earned anything. We haven’t won anything. And (our last game) was definitely a wake-up call.”

Atlanta will wrap up a four-game homestand on Friday.

The Hawks will remain without John Collins, who has been sidelined since the end of March with a sprained ankle. Collins is expected to miss at least one more week.

Two more Hawks players, Clint Capela (Achilles) and Danilo Gallinari (ankle), are listed as questionable for Friday’s game.

The Hawks’ injury woes could increase pressure on Young to bounce back from his poor performance against Memphis. Young leads Atlanta with 25.1 points per game to go along with 9.5 assists and 3.9 rebounds.

This is the second meeting between the teams this season. They met Dec. 23 to open the 2020-21 campaign, with the Hawks cruising to a 124-104 win.

Young erupted for 37 points on 10-for-12 shooting in that game. He made 5 of 6 shots from beyond the arc.

LaVine led the Bulls with 22 points in that contest. He shot 9 of 19 overall and missed 7 of 8 attempts from 3-point range.

–Field Level Media

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