The Atlanta Hawks will have to show some resiliency to recover from a difficult loss even though they haven't been very successful lately in winning the second half of back-to-back games.
The Hawks have lost five straight contests in those circumstances heading into Saturday night's road matchup with the Chicago Bulls.
Atlanta (18-15) will look to bounce back from Friday's agonizing 101-100 home defeat to Golden State. The Warriors' Andre Iguodala inbounded the ball with 2.8 seconds left to Stephen Curry, who was double-teamed and fed Iguodala for the winning 3-pointer as time expired.
"We defended the initial action pretty well," said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, whose team gave up 37 points in the fourth quarter. "Steph Curry demands a lot of attention. We got the ball out of his hands, and then they made a tough shot. It's a credit to Iguodala, a credit to Curry for making the pass."
The Hawks won on their first two occasions playing the second contest of back-to-backs, but have lost five straight such games - including defeats to lowly Orlando and New York.
Chicago (13-18) fits that description as a lowly opponent, but Atlanta will return to the United Center for the first time since a 97-58 defeat last Jan. 14. That marked its second-lowest point total in the shot clock era and included a dreadful five-point second quarter.
The Hawks, who have dropped four straight regular-season games in Chicago, are a different team now with the departure of Josh Smith and the addition of Paul Millsap, who is averaging a career-high 17.7 points.
"Millsap is one of those guys who I think if you don't know him and study him, you don't realize how good he is," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "When he was in Utah, he played very well for Utah."
Thibodeau was asked about former Bulls forward Kyle Korver, who extended his NBA record streak of games with at least one 3-pointer to 102 on Friday. The coach made sure to note that five Hawks other than Korver have made at least 25 3-pointers.
"(Jeff) Teague is playing incredible for them," Thibodeau said. "They have a lot of guys shooting 3s, they're going to make 25 3s.
"Lou Williams is shooting the 3. They have some guys like Millsap who have improved their range, he's shooting 3s. Their bigs can all step out and shoot. It puts a lot of pressure on you in many different ways."
The Bulls won for the second time in eight home games, 94-82 over Boston on Thursday. Joakim Noah fell an assist shy of his fourth career triple-double and Carlos Boozer added 16 points.
"We have to turn it around," Noah said. "To do that, everybody has to go in and give everything they have. We can't take any nights off."
Boozer missed practice Friday, so his status is unclear. Luol Deng has scored 30 points in two games since returning after missing five due to a sore Achilles, and his minutes are being limited.
Noah usually goes up against his former Florida Gators teammate Al Horford in these matchups, but Horford is out for the season with a torn right pectoral muscle.
- Sports & Recreation
- Atlanta Hawks
- Chicago Bulls
- Andre Iguodala
- Stephen Curry
- Paul Millsap