Horford, Hawks take down Bulls

Sat Jan 9, 2016 9:44pm EST
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(The Sports Xchange) - Al Horford made sure the Chicago Bulls' six-game winning streak came to an end and that the Atlanta Hawks had a significant home victory.

The Atlanta center scored 33 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, handed out six assists and blocked four shots as the Hawks led all the way in a 120-105 victory over the Bulls on Saturday.

"We understood that this was a good measuring-stick game for us," Horford said. "We knew that the effort had to be there more than ever. We've been playing hard, but we knew we had to play harder. From the beginning of the game, we did that."

The Hawks (23-15) had six players in double figures while shooting 52.1 percent and forced the Bulls (22-13) into 22 turnovers.

"We need to continue to do what we did today, moving the ball and hustling on defense consistently," Horford said. "As a team, I feel that we sometimes have lapses in those areas."

Horford, who got Atlanta off to a fast start with 11 first-quarter points, made 15-of-21 shots and his point total was one shy of the career best for the eight-year veteran.

"Al Horford was very vintage," Hawks coach Mike Bodenholzer said. "Everyone kind of followed his lead."

Added Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg: "(Horford) was phenomenal, absolutely. Their bigs are so skilled, it is a tough matchup."

Bulls guard Jimmy Butler had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Nikola Mirotic scored 24 points, but Chicago showed little intensity except during a third-quarter flurry.   Continued...

Jan 9, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) scores off a pass over Chicago Bulls center Pau Gasol (16) during the second half at Philips Arena. The Hawks defeated the Bulls 120-105. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports