ATLANTA (AP) _ Joe Johnson and the Atlanta Hawks ended nearly
four years of losing to Chicago in a decisive manner.
Johnson scored 37 points, including 25 in the first half, and
the Hawks beat the Bulls 105-84 today to end a 12-game losing
streak in the series.
The Hawks had not beaten the Bulls since a 116-101 victory at
the United Center on April ninth, 2004.
The Hawks built a 22-point lead in the first half and never let
the Bulls mount a serious comeback. Chicago cut the lead to 80-66
at the end of the third quarter, but a steal and 3-pointer by
Johnson midway through the fourth pushed the lead back to 91-72.
Johnson added nine rebounds and six assists.
Chicago pulled within 93-80 in the fourth quarter, but the Hawks
answered with eight straight points.
Luol Deng led Chicago with 28 points in his return from missing
three games with a sore Achilles tendon.
Andres Nocioni had 20 points, Joe Smith 12 and Kirk Hinrich 11
Josh Childress added 14 points and nine rebounds for Atlanta.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)