Someone had to pay.
So he Hawks took out their frustrations on the Bulls – for three quarters.
The Hawks led by as many as 34 points but had to hold on for a 102-93 victory over the Bulls Friday night at Philips Arena. The win came two nights after the Hawks trailed by as many as 30 points in a loss to the Pistons.
The Hawks (25-18) have won 10 of the past 12 games. They have won six straight over the Bulls, including two games this season.
The Hawks pulled their starters and key reserves late in the third quarter. Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with a game-high 25 points, including 10 in the first quarter, in just 26 minutes. Paul Millsap had 14 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal. Dwight Howard had 11 points and Thabo Sefolosha had 10 points.
The Bulls (21-23) have lost two straight and five of their past seven games. Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 19 points.
The Hawks led by as many as 24 points in the first quarter. They trailed by that many in the first quarter of the loss to the Pistons. The Hawks led 35-13 after the first period by shooting 79 percent (15 of 19) from the field. The 13 points allowed was tied for the second fewest by the Hawks in any quarter this season.
The Hawks increased their lead to as many as 30 points in the second quarter. They took a commanding 65-36 lead into intermission. The pushed their lead to a game-high 34 points in the third quarter.
With a little-used lineup in the fourth quarter, the Bulls closed to within five points, 95-90, with 1:06 remaining on a 23-4 run. Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer was forced to put reserves Malcolm Delaney and Tim Hardaway Jr. and then starters Millsap and Schroder back in the game. Schroder scored with less than a minute remaining to push the Hawks lead back to seven points, 97-90.