Starters’ big nights help break slump
by Matt Winkeljohn
Associated Press Sports Writer
December 23, 2012 01:10 AM | 1684 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ATLANTA — Al Horford had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and every Atlanta starter scored in double figures as the Hawks routed the Chicago Bulls 92-75 on Saturday night to snap a two-game losing streak.

Lou Williams added 16 points in his first start, and the Atlanta native led the way as the Hawks outscored the Bulls 61-33 in the second and third quarters combined. Both teams played on Friday, but the Bulls were the only one that looked tired a night later.

Luol Deng paced Chicago with 11 points, but the Bulls (15-11) couldn’t build on its 110-106 victory over the Knicks in New York on Friday. The Hawks (16-9), however, bounced back from a poor fourth-quarter performance in a 99-80 loss at Philadelphia.

Atlanta starters outscored Chicago’s starters 72-39 in Hawks coach Larry Drew’s 100th victory. He is now 100-73 in his third year.

Williams started at shooting guard, but began the second quarter playing point guard in place of starter Jeff Teague. Williams had 11 points in the period as the Hawks outscored the Bulls 25-6 over the final 6:58.

Williams added two rebounds and two assists in the quarter, and Horford scored 10 points as Atlanta shot 15-for-23 (65.2 percent) to take a 53-37 lead at halftime.

After Chicago went ahead 31-28 on Joakim Noah’s dunk with 7:21 left in the second quarter, the Bulls missed eight of 11 shots the rest of the quarter and committed four turnovers.

The third quarter was much of the same as Atlanta built a 72-47 lead. The most interesting moment came when Bulls rookie guard Marquis Teague entered the game with 4:13 remaining to match up against his brother Jeff for the first time as a professional.

Marquis made an acrobatic layup in heavy traffic to beat the shot clock, but had no substantial impact on the game as the Hawks stretched their lead to 78-54 after three quarters.

The younger Teague finished with eight points and three assists as Bulls coach Tom Thibodeux sat his starters in the final period.

 NOTES: Hawks guard Devin Harris missed his third straight game because of a sore left foot. ... Atlanta rapper T.I. performed at halftime. ... Former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield and singer-songwriter Ne-Yo were in the crowd.

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