Hawks Bulls Basketball

Bulls forward Taj Gibson (22) blocks the shot of Hawks guard Jeff Teague in Wednesday night's NBA game in Chicago. Atlanta won 113-90.

CHICAGO — Al Horford set the tone with a strong start and got plenty of help. More important, Atlanta hit the All-Star break on a winning note after two tough losses.

Horford scored 16 points, Jeff Teague had 17 points and eight assists, and the Hawks routed the struggling Chicago Bulls 113-90 on Wednesday night.

Dennis Schroder had 18 points and made three of his team's 13 3-pointers. Paul Millsap scored 15, and the Southeast Division leaders headed into the break with a win after back-to-back losses to last-place Orlando.

"We need the whole group," coach Mike Budenholzer said. "It can't be Paul one night, Al one night, Jeff one night, Kyle (Korver). We need everybody to play well. And I think for the most part that was kind of how it was tonight."

The Hawks led by five at halftime and broke it open in the third quarter, sending the sloppy Bulls to their fourth straight loss and 13th in 18 games.

Pau Gasol had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Chicago after being selected Tuesday to his sixth All-Star team as a replacement for injured Bulls teammate Jimmy Butler.

Doug McDermott scored 17, but Derrick Rose was off target after missing a game because of soreness. The 2011 NBA MVP finished with 14 points on 6-of-18 shooting, and the Bulls dropped their fifth straight at home, matching their longest skid since March 2010.

"I challenge them to do whatever they need to over the break, look themselves in the mirror and find a way to get committed to this thing and go on a run," coach Fred Hoiberg said.

It's been quite a struggle for a team that saw itself as a threat to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for supremacy in the Eastern Conference. Management thought bringing in Hoiberg and his fast-paced offense to replace the fired Tom Thibodeau would push the Bulls over the top. But the personnel and system have not meshed.

Injuries are playing a role, and another one cropped up in this game. Taj Gibson exited because of a strained left foot, and the team announced late in the game that he would not return.

The poor health does not completely explain the sloppy play. There was plenty of it in this game, with 19 turnovers leading to 25 points for the Hawks, and the crowd let the Bulls hear it, showering them with boos.

"Being able to come in here and win, it's big for our team," Horford said.

Chicago's inability to hang onto the ball, combined with Horford's 13 points, led to a 53-48 halftime edge for Atlanta. The Hawks then put away the Bulls in the third, outscoring them 38-25.

After Rose drained a 3-pointer 31 seconds into the second half, Atlanta went on a 15-2 run.

Korver hit a pair of 3s and scored eight points during that stretch. Teague added five, and Millsap finished the run with a 16-foot turnaround jumper, making it 68-53.


Assistant Night Editor

Assistant Night Editor for The Pantagraph.

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