Hawks fail to hold double-digit lead in loss to Bulls (updated)


This time it was the Hawks who could not hold a 10-point lead in Chicago.

Jimmy Butler made a pair of free throws with 2.1 seconds remaining to give the Bulls a 106-104 victory over the Hawks on Saturday at United Center.

The Hawks overcame a double-digit deficit late in a win over the Bulls in January.

Dennis Schroder scored in transition off a Butler miss with 35.8 seconds remaining to give the Hawks a 104-102 lead. Butler answered with a drive three seconds later. One Hawks’ miscue later, Butler was fouled on a shot late in the clock by Kent Bazemore after a Schroder turnover and made the two free throws. Tim Hardaway Jr. took a 3-point shot for the win that just missed at the final buzzer.

“I should have pump-faked,” Hardaway said. “Two seconds left, that’s an easy pump-fake, one dribble shot. I think I had time. But it felt great coming off my hand. It was on line. It was just a little long.”

The Hawks used a 38-18 run between the third and fourth quarters to turn a 10-point deficit into a 10-point advantage. They led 89-79 early in the final quarter. The Bulls came all the way back to tie the score at 102-102 after an 11-2 run keyed by back-to-back 3-pointers from Denzel Valentine.

The Hawks (39-37) had a two-game win streak snapped. They fell a game behind the Bucks for fifth in the Eastern Conference with six games remaining in the regular season. The Hawks are two games ahead of the Bulls, Heat and Pacers, all with identical records, for the final two playoff spots.

Schroder led the Hawks with 29 points. Hardaway (20), Dwight Howard (13) and Ersan Ilyasova (13) also scored in double-digits. Howard added 12 rebounds.

“They hit some tough shots,” Howard said. “That’s how they got the win. We should have won that game though. Any game we lose it’s hard to take. Tonight, that was a game we definitely should have won. We went up big and we should have capitalized on it.”

The Bulls (37-39) have won three consecutive as they make a push for the playoffs. Butler led the team with a game-high 31 points, including their last nine points. Rajon Rondo finished with a season-high 25 points.

The Bulls led by as many has eight points in the first half and took a 52-46 lead into intermission.

The Bulls extend their lead to 10 points with the first two field goals of the third quarter. They led by the margin, 61-51, with nine minutes remaining in the period before Hardaway scored 11 consecutive Hawks points to start a 19-4 run to take back the lead at 70-69.

The Hawks weren’t done. They took an 84-79 lead into the fourth quarter, their biggest advantage of the game to that point, when Bazemore beat the buzzer with a 37-foot 3-point heave. The Hawks continued their run into the final period to build the double-digit lead.

“I’m happy with the way the guys played,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “They competed. They put is in a position to win. We’ve got to make a few plays, finish a few plays.”

The Hawks again played without two starters Paul Millsap and Thabo Sefolosha. Millsap could return for Sunday’s game at the Nets.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Hawks

Five things to watch at Hawks training camp
Five things to watch at Hawks training camp

The Hawks are set to open a three-day training camp Tuesday at the Coliseum Training Facility on the University of Georgia campus. The Hawks will practice twice Tuesday and Wednesday and once Wednesday. All sessions are closed to the public.  As of Thursday, the Hawks have 19 players signed for training camp. Here are five things to watch: ...
Hawks add Jeremy Evans, Jordan Mathews
Hawks add Jeremy Evans, Jordan Mathews

The Atlanta Hawks announced Thursday the signing of forward Jeremy Evans and rookie guard Jordan Mathews.  The terms of Evans and Mathews’ agreements were not disclosed. Evans, 6-foot-9, played last season with Khimki in Russia after spending the 2015-2016 season with the Dallas Mavericks and the first five seasons of his NBA career with...
VIDEO: Winning moment from Kent Bazemore’s Uno Tournament
VIDEO: Winning moment from Kent Bazemore’s Uno Tournament

Who is more excited? Kent Bazemore held his Uno Tournament Friday night as a fundraiser for his ARMS Foundation. Watch Miss Isabel Feagans as she is crowned the winner. Oh, and Bazemore’s reaction to the victory. The 10-year-old Miss Feagans was the youngest of the 150 competitors. She is the daughter of AJC staff writer Helena Oliviero. Bazemore...
Howard donates $100,000 to start Boys & Girls Club in Charlotte
Howard donates $100,000 to start Boys & Girls Club in Charlotte

Dwight Howard made his first trip to Charlotte since his trade from Atlanta – and it was to start a Boys and Girls Club. The Starmount Academy of Excellence received $100,000 from Howard for the operational expenses to begin a Boys and Girls Club at the elementary school. Howard made his initial appearance in the city at the kickoff event on...
Hawks agree to training camp deal with Jeremy Evans
Hawks agree to training camp deal with Jeremy Evans

The Hawks have agreed to a contract with forward Jeremy Evans, according to a person familiar with the situation. The former NBA Slam Dunk Champion will come to training camp with the team. Evans, 30, played six NBA seasons, including his first five with the Jazz. He also played one season with the Mavericks, his last in the league, in 2015-16. He...
More Stories