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Bulls’ trio of scorers deliver big numbers to beat Hawks

Sportsnaut
Dec 27, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Chicago Bulls center Nikola Vucevic (9) tries to get to the basket guarded by Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela (15) during the first half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 27, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Chicago Bulls center Nikola Vucevic (9) tries to get to the basket guarded by Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela (15) during the first half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic combined for 89 points to help the visiting Chicago Bulls roll to a 130-118 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.

It was the fourth straight win for Chicago, who ended a three-game losing streak to Atlanta. It was the eighth consecutive home loss for Atlanta.

DeRozan scored 35 points, his 23rd game with 20-plus points, and had 10 assists. LaVine scored 30 points, his 10th game with 30-plus this season, and nine assists. Vucevic had 24 points and 17 rebounds. The Bulls made a season-high 18 3-pointers.

Atlanta received good news minutes before tipoff when leading scorer Trae Young was cleared to play. Young, who averages 27.3 points and 9.3 assists, had missed three games while in COVID-19 protocols. He scored 29 points and had nine assists.

Cam Reddish scored 33 points and made a career-high eight 3-pointers. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 20.

The Hawks came out hot, with Young scoring 12 and Reddish adding 11 in the first quarter, which Atlanta led 36-31. But as the Hawks began to go to the bench, the Bulls started to assert themselves, closing with a 23-12 run. LaVine had 23 and DeRozan had 21 in the first half, with Chicago taking a 69-63 halftime lead.

The Bulls led 98-87 after three quarters, but the Hawks cut the lead to three points on a 3-pointer by Reddish with 7:43, only to have Vucevic answer with a 3-pointer. Atlanta never got that close again.

The Hawks continued to lose players to COVID protocols, the latest being forward John Collins. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Chaundee Brown Jr., who signed a 10-day contract hours before the game started.

Also on the COVID list were Danilo Gallinari, Kevin Huerter, Onyeka Okongwu, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Lou Williams, Delon Wright, Sharife Cooper, Wes Iwundu and Jalen Johnson.

The Bulls and Hawks play again on Wednesday in Chicago.

–Field Level Media