Hawks hang on for fourth straight win

Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:30am EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - As strange as it sounds, Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer prefers that his players experience a close game every now and then.

Nail-biters were in short supply during the past week as Atlanta cruised to three consecutive wins by double-digit margins. But the Hawks had no time to relax Monday as they held on in the final minute for a 102-100 win over the Chicago Bulls.

"You want to feel the pressure a little bit, make some free throws (down the stretch)," Budenholzer said. "It's good to find a way to win on the road in a close game."

A balanced attack made the hard-fought win a reality for Atlanta.

Jeff Teague scored 26 points and dished out seven assists to lead the Hawks. Paul Millsap scored 11 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and blocked six shots. Al Horford matched Millsap's double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Atlanta (45-30) increased its winning streak to four games and improved to 9-1 in its past 10 contests. The Hawks completed a season sweep against the Bulls with a 4-0 record.

"It was a good test for our team," Horford said. "We didn't want it to get to that point, but they started making shots late. They pushed us. It's a positive."

Derrick Rose led the Bulls with 20 points on 8-for-25 shooting. Pau Gasol scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Chicago (36-37) lost its fourth consecutive game and fell below .500 for the first time this season. The Bulls have lost 11 of 17 and could miss the playoffs for the first time since 2007-08.   Continued...

Mar 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) fouls Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver (26) during the second half at United Center. Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports