Hawks upend Bulls, tighten race for East’s No. 9 seed

The visiting Atlanta Hawks got 20 points from Bogdan Bogdanovic to beat the Bulls 113-101 on Monday and move to within a half-game of Chicago, which holds the No. 9 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The Hawks shot 47.5 percent on 3-point attempts, 19 of 40, and had six players score in double figures. Atlanta (35-40) won for the fifth time in six games and defeated the Bulls for the first time in three meetings this season.

Bogdanovic was an efficient 6-for-7 from the field and 6-for-6 from the free-throw line with six assists. Atlanta also got 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists from Dejounte Murray, who was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week, and a career-high 18 points from Vit Krejci, who was 6-for-6 on 3-point attempts.

Chicago (36-40) was led by DeMar DeRozan with 31 points, his 12th game with 30-plus points. Coby White added 22 points and Ayo Dosunmu scored 15. Off the bench, Andre Drummond contributed 13 points and a game-high 18 rebounds for the Bulls, who have lost five of their past seven.

Chicago started the game by taking advantage of three Atlanta turnovers to score the first 11 points. The momentum didn’t last, and the Hawks led 32-30 after the first quarter.

Atlanta kept the momentum and used an 8-0 spurt to take a 52-45 lead at 3:23. The Hawks built the lead to eight when Krejci hit a 3-pointer — one of a career-high five in the first half — at the buzzer for a 61-52 lead at halftime.

The Hawks took advantage of Chicago’s poor shooting from the floor in the third quarter (28.6 percent) and built their lead to 17 points, the last at 87-70, and took a 90-74 lead into the fourth quarter.

Atlanta got two players back from injuries. Jalen Johnson returned after missing nine games with a right ankle sprain and scored 11 points. First-round draft pick Kobe Bufkin was back after missing 14 games with a left big toe sprain.

The Hawks return home Wednesday to host the Detroit Pistons. Chicago plays again Friday against the visiting New York Knicks.

–Field Level Media