Bulls shut down Hawks in 97-58 rout
CHICAGO (AP) — Tom Thibodeau sent a strong wake-up message to his team at a heated shootaround Monday morning. He got the response he was looking for.
Carlos Boozer had 20 points and 13 rebounds, Luol Deng scored 18 points and the Chicago Bulls held Atlanta to a franchise-low 20 points in the first half of a 97-58 victory over the Hawks on Monday night.
"Early this morning, Tibs was going crazy on us at shootaround. Just waking up early in the morning and having Tibs just screaming at you and screaming at you and screaming at you," center Joakim Noah said, "we didn't want that to happen to us again.
"We were ready for this one. We had the right mindset, played with the edge and we rebounded the ball really well. Everyone came in and stepped up."
Reserve forward Mike Scott scored 10 points to lead Atlanta as none of the starters reached double figures. Josh Smith and Kyle Korver had nine points each.
Jeff Teague had a layup with 7.9 seconds left to prevent the Hawks' lowest scoring total in franchise history.
Atlanta has lost five straight on the road and six of seven overall.
"This was very, very embarrassing," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "From where we were as a team to where we're at right now, we have lost all sense of team on both ends of the floor. And why that's happened I really can't put my finger on it."
The Bulls held the Hawks to just five points in the second quarter and led 48-20 at the break. Ivan Johnson had a basket for the Hawks with 2:54 left in the first quarter, and Atlanta did not score again until Al Horford's tip with 5:15 left in the second. The Hawks missed 17 consecutive shots during the drought while getting outscored 14-0.
They finished the 2 for 21 from the field in the second quarter, with Smith making a free throw and a jumper for Atlanta's other points. The Hawks shot 20.5 percent on 8-of-39 shooting in the first half. Josh Smith was 3 for 10 and Horford 2 for 8 in the opening two periods.
"The disturbing thing is the effort part. I shouldn't have to come out and coach effort every single night. Effort is what your being paid, to bring effort every single night. Maybe it's the chemistry right now," Drew said. "I'm going to have to do something to kind of jump-start us again.
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