Hawks 97, Bulls 87

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ATLANTA (AP)—The Atlanta Hawks know that pulling a half-game out of last place in the Central Division is just a start.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim scored eight points in an 11-0 run in the final 3:36 and the Hawks beat Chicago 97-87 on Wednesday night to move ahead of the Bulls in the division standings.

“We’re not really worried about that right now,” said Jason Terry, who had 14 points and seven assists. “We’re just excited and enthused about the way we’ve been playing.”

The Hawks are 19 1/2 games behind first-place Indiana.

“We’re still at the bottom,” Abdur-Rahim said. “We’re not really where we want to be. We’ve got a nice stretch at home and we need to get some things done.”

Stephen Jackson scored 22 points for the Hawks, but went scoreless after the 11:06 mark in the third period. Abdur-Rahim finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Theo Ratliff scored 15 points.

It was the fifth straight loss for Chicago, which got 17 points from Kendall Gill and Eddie Robinson.

“The bottom line is you can’t make a moral victory out of any loss,” Gill said. “Winning is everything. Not just in basketball but in life. All you can do is stay positive.”

Chicago’s reserves scored 59 points, the most by any Atlanta opponent this season.

“I thought we were flat most of the first half until we went to some of the second-unit guys,” Chicago coach Scott Skiles said. “It was a shocking contrast to how the initial group was playing.”

Atlanta led by as many as seven in the first half, when Jackson made 7-of-11 field goals. The Hawks pushed their lead to 10 midway through the third, but Chicago closed the quarter on an 8-4 run and trimmed Atlanta’s lead to 84-83 onEddie Robinson’s steal and dunk with 6:29 left.

Notes

Jamal Crawford has scored in double figures in 24 of Chicago’s last 29 games … Hawks guard Travis Hansen missed his fifth straight game because of a sore right foot. X-rays were negative for any break and Hansen, who was in street clothes Wednesday, is day-to-day … Atlanta’s Alan Henderson also missed his fifth straight game while attending to a family situation … Terry moved into 10th place in Hawks history in career assists, surpassing the 2,000mark and moving past Bill Bridges on the club list.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Chicago
K. Gill K. Gill
7-11,  17 Pts
1 Rebs, 4 Assists
 Atlanta
S. Abdur-Rahim S. Abdur-Rahim
9-18,  22 Pts
11 Rebs, 2 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists